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Japan is divided over a rare public funeral for Shinzo Abe, the former prime leader who was killed in July.

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The ruling party's strong relationships with the ultra-conservative Unification Church have stoked much of the opposition to the funeral despite the fact that the hawkish Abe was one of the country's most contentious postwar presidents.

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A near-constant political backlash against Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stems from the way he handled both the church connections among his party's MPs and the state funeral he believes Abe merits.

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Junichi Miyama, a historian at Chuo University, stated that "a state funeral is in opposition to the spirit of democracy." 

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The lack of a clear legal foundation and the Kishida Cabinet's unilateral decision to hold the burial are among the claim it is undemocratic.

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Abe, whose former leader and grandfather Nobusuke Kishi assisted the church's establishment in Japan, is now recognized as a crucial player in the controversy. 

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Opponents assert that having a formal funeral for Abe is the same as endorsing party affiliation with the Unification Church.

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A group of attorneys attempted to halt the funeral by filing a lawsuit, but it was allegedly dropped on Monday. 

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A senior citizen who appeared to be protesting the burial lit himself on fire close to the prime minister's office.

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The government claims that no one would be coerced into attending Abe's burial.