Shinzo Abe was a Japanese politician who served as Prime Minister of Japan and President of the Liberal Democratic Party from 2006 to 2007 and again from 2012 to 2020. He was the longest-serving prime minister in Japanese history

Japan has honoured former prime minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated in July, with a rare state funeral in Tokyo.

While many stopped to pay their respects, the state funeral also sparked an intense public debate, as protesters gathered around parts of the city.

In remarks representing Abe's friends and translated by Reuters, Suga noted that many people in their 20s and 30s had showed up to offer flowers.

At a peaceful protest march in downtown Tokyo this afternoon, hundreds of people marched toward the funeral hall, some banging drums and many holding banners and signs stating their opposition.

The government maintains that the ceremony is not meant to force anyone to honor Abe.

But the decision to give him the rare honour with imperial ties, the cost, and controversies about his and the ruling party’s ties to the ultra-conservative Unification Church have fuelled controversy about the event.

Abe once described the Australia-Japan partnership as one of "true soul mates", but it wasn't the first or last time he'd speak of the friendship between the two nations.