Man sets himself on fire near Japan PM’s office

Published September 22, 2022
Unidentified officials check the site where a man who was protesting a state funeral for former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe set himself on fire, near Prime Minster Fumio Kishida's official residence in Tokyo on September 21. — Reuters
Unidentified officials check the site where a man who was protesting a state funeral for former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe set himself on fire, near Prime Minster Fumio Kishida's official residence in Tokyo on September 21. — Reuters

TOKYO: A man set himself on fire near the Japanese prime minister’s office on Wednesday after expressing opposition to a state funeral for assassinated ex-premier Shinzo Abe, local media reported.

Police declined to confirm the incident, but the government said an individual with burns had been found near government property.

“We are aware that a man with burns was found by a police officer at 7am this morning at an intersection below the cabinet office,” top government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno said.

“But details are currently being examined by police,” he added, declining to answer further questions on the incident. Local media said the man was taken to hospital and was conscious.

TV Asahi said he told police he was opposed to the planned ceremony for Abe.

According to the television station, a police officer who tried to extinguish the fire was injured in the process. Jiji news agency said handwritten notes found near the man said he was “staunchly opposed” to the state funeral.

The man was believed to be in his 70s and told police he had doused himself in oil, the agency added.

By mid-morning, the only sign of the incident was a scorched patch of grass and bush, with police and media nearby.

Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2022

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