Photo/Illutration The Nippon Budokan hall in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward will serve as the site of the state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (Hiroyuki Yamamoto)

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s Cabinet on Aug. 26 approved spending of 249.4 million yen ($1.8 million) from the reserve fund to hold a state funeral for slain former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The funds will be used to lease the Nippon Budokan hall in the capital’s Chiyoda Ward as well as prepare the facility for the Sept. 27 funeral.

The allocation does not cover the cost of providing security for the overseas dignitaries and other VIPs who are expected to attend.

These expenses will be covered from the existing budget.

The Cabinet decision made no mention of asking government ministries and agencies to express their condolences toward Abe, who was gunned down in July in Nara city.

At his Aug. 26 news conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno was asked about the condolences issue.

“No Cabinet approval was made (for such requests) because we did not want to cause the misunderstanding that we are calling on each and every Japanese to express their condolences,” he said.

He added that local governments and education boards would also not be asked to express their condolences by, for example, flying the flag at half-mast.

That decision likely reflected opposition to holding the state funeral underscored in various public opinion polls as well as petition drives.

About 6,000 individuals are expected to attend the state funeral. A separate venue will be set up where people can offer flowers.

Kishida will chair the funeral organizing committee.

According to Matsuno, the funeral will be simple but solemn and carry no religious overtones.

The government has notified 195 nations, four regions, including Taiwan and Hong Kong, as well as international organizations, such as the United Nations, about the planned state funeral.