Japan held its first State funeral for 22 years yesterday (Tuesday) to pay final homage to elder statesman Shigeru Yoshida, who died on October 20 at the age of 89.
Japan held its first State funeral for 22 years yesterday (Tuesday) to pay final homage to elder statesman Shigeru Yoshida, who died on October 20 at the age of 89. Black drape flags flew at halfmast as Mr. Yoshida's ashes were borne through the streets of Tokyo to the Budokan Hall for an hour-long secular ceremony.
Japan's Crown Prince and Princess, Prime Minister Eisaku Sato and representatives of 74 countries laid wreaths at the funeral service. The Budokan Hall was filled to capacity by thousands of Japanese who wished to pay homage to the statesman.
Shigeru Yoshida was revered throughout the country as the man who guided Japan during its post-war transition to parliamentary democracy and economic recovery. He was Prime Minister i 1946-1947 and again from 1948-1954.
He had a distinguished diplomatic record in the years leading up to the second World War,serving as Ambassador to Britain and as Japan's delegate to the League of Nations. He resigned in 1939 because he disagreed with the Government's pro-German and pro-Italian policy. He returned to political life as Foreign Minister after the Japanese surrender.
Mr. Yoshida, who died from heart failure, left two sons and two daughters.