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Man sets himself burning in apparent protest of Abe funeral

TOKYO (AP) A guy set himself burning close to the Japanese prime ministers office in Tokyo early Wednesday in apparent protest contrary to the state funeral planned in a few days for former leader Shinzo Abe, officials and media reports said.

The person, thought to be in his 70s, sustained burns on large elements of his body but was conscious and told police he set himself burning after pouring oil over him, Kyodo News agency reported. The person was taken up to a hospital.

An email apparently compiled by the person was found with him having said that, Personally, I’m absolutely against Abes funeral, Kyodo said.

A Tokyo Fire Department official confirmed a guy set himself afire on the road in Tokyos Kasumigaseki government district but declined to provide further details, like the mans identity, motive or condition, citing the sensitivity of that which was a police matter.

Tokyo police refused to comment, including on a written report that a officer was caught in the fire.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is in NY for the annual U.N. General Assembly meeting of world leaders. He gave a speech Tuesday expressing disappointment on the Security Councils failure to react to the Russian invasion of Ukraine due to Russias permanent veto and needed reforms that could permit the U.N. to raised defend global peace and order.

The planned state funeral for Abe is becoming increasingly unpopular among Japanese as additional information emerge concerning the ruling partys and Abes links to the Unification Church, which built close ties with Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers over their shared interests in conservative causes.

The suspect in Abes assassination reportedly believed his mothers donations to the church ruined his family. The LDP has said nearly half its lawmakers have ties to the church.

Circumstances funeral is really a rare event in Japan, but Kishida has said Abe deserves the honor as Japans longest-serving post-World War II leader and for his diplomatic and economic achievements.

Critics have said it had been decided undemocratically and can be an inappropriate and costly usage of taxpayers money. They state Kishida aimed to please Abes party faction and buttress their own power.

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