Photo/Illutration People gather in front of Zojoji temple in Tokyo’s Minato Ward on July 12 to see off the hearse carrying the body of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (Tetsuro Takehana)

A state funeral will be held for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this autumn, which will be only the second for a former prime minister since the end of World War II.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made the announcement at his news conference on July 14.

Saying Abe’s achievements as prime minister were outstanding, Kishida said, “Holding a state funeral for him will be an expression of our intention to resolutely protect our democracy and never bend to violence.”

Abe, 67, was shot to death on July 8 while giving a campaign speech in Nara.

His state funeral will be the first accorded a former prime minister since one held in 1967 for Shigeru Yoshida. 

Sources said the protocol used in that state funeral will be followed for the one for Abe.

Some within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party had called for a state funeral for Abe, given that he was the longest-serving prime minister.