Vietnamese State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and his entourage left Hanoi for Tokyo on a commercial flight on Sunday morning to attend the state funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Accompanying the president are his assistant Bui Huy Hung, chairman of the Presidential Office Le Khanh Hai, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the lawmaking National Assembly Vu Hai Ha, and Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen Chi Dung, among other high officials.
During his three-day trip to Japan, President Phuc will attend the main events of the state funeral and meet with former PM Abe’s family members, Japanese leaders, and leading officials from certain countries, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In addition to the Vietnamese head of state, the funeral will also be attended by about 50 leaders and former leaders of other countries, including U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Indian PM Narendra Modi, former British PM Theresa May, and ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy, among others.
Emperor of Japan Hironomiya Naruhito will host receptions for heads of the delegations attending the event, while Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and the spouse of ex-PM Abe will extend thanks to them.
The state funeral ceremony will commence at 2:00 pm on Tuesday at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, with about 6,000 guests in attendance.
President Phuc’s presence at the funeral shows Vietnam’s affection and recognition for former PM Abe’s great contributions to promoting the two countries’ relations, and at the same time affirming the importance of the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Japan, according to the foreign ministry.
During his time in office, PM Abe visited Vietnam four times and made significant devotion to boosting the comprehensive cooperation between the two countries, the ministry added.
Abe was assassinated on July 8 morning while giving a speech in Nara City as part of his campaigning support for a parliamentary candidate of the Liberal Democratic Party in Nara Prefecture.
He was shot twice in the back with a homemade gun by the Japanese suspect, 41-year-old Tetsuya Yamagami, and died at the hospital later the same day due to blood loss.
Abe, passing away at 67, was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, holding the post in 2006-07 and later from 2012 to 2020.
Vietnam and Japan have seen the bilateral relationship develop fruitfully since their establishment of diplomatic relations on September 21, 1973, and are looking forward to celebrating their 50th year of the diplomatic ties next year.