- Title: JAPAN: FUNERAL OF FORMER PRIME MINISTER KEIZO OBUCHI
- Date: 15th May 2000
- Summary: TOKYO, JAPAN (MAY 16, 2000) (REUTERS) SMV PRIME MINISTER YOSHIRO MORI ENTERING FUNERAL HALL WIDE OF FUNERAL HALL SMV U.S. AMBASSADOR THOMAS FOLEY ARRIVING AT FUNERAL HALL VARIOUS OF PEOPLE STANDING OUTSIDE THE HALL CLASPING PRAYER BEADS, OBSERVING A MINUTE OF SILENCE ( 3 SHOTS) WIDE OF CARS GOING INTO DRIVEWAY SMV PEOPLE WAITING TO LAY FLOWERS AND PAY LAST RESPECTS TO OBUCHI SCU SOUNDBITE (Japanese) MASAHIRO MORIOKA, MOURNER, SAYING: "It was a wonderful funeral but he died so suddenly I feel very sorry for him" SCU SOUNDBITE (Japanese) YORIKO GOTO , MOURNER, SAYING:"He was always smiling and was the kind of person who would say hello to anyone. He was kind and friendly." WIDE OF FOREIGN MINISTRY SMV JAPANESE FLAG AT HALF MAST WIDE OF LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY(LDP) HEADQUARTERS CLOSE UP, LDP FLAG AT HALF MAST SLV PHOTO OF OBUCHI AT ENTRANCE OF LDP HEADQUARTERS VARIOUS OF WOMEN PAYING LAST THEIR LAST RESPECTS TO OBUCHI AT ALTAR AT LDP HEADQUARTER ENTRANCE (2 SHOTS) CLOSEUP OF PICTURE OF OBUCHI SMV POSTER OF YOSHIRO MORI SLV , WOMEN WALKING PAST OBUCHI ALTAR, ZOOM INTO OBUCHI'S ALTAR (2 SHOTS)
- Embargoed: 30th May 2000 13:00
- Location: TOKYO, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVAA648NM0TMFKWAWYBHWULP8WQN
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Hundreds of friends, family and Japan's political elite paid their last respects to former prime minister Keizo Obuchi at a private funeral ceremony held in Tokyo on Tuesday.
A gleaming black hearse carrying Obuchi's coffin arrived at the funeral parlour on Tuesday (May 16), followed by cars carrying family members an hour before the ceremony was scheduled to start.
The funeral was preceded by a wake on Monday.
Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, members of the cabinet and diplomats, including U.S.ambassador to Japan Thomas Foley were among the mourners attending the funeral.
About 300 people, mostly dressed in black stood solemnly inside white tents to listen to the ceremony which was broadcast over loudspeakers.
They stood with hands clasped and heads bowed in a minute of silence.
Hundreds more formed an orderly queue winding outside of the funeral hall grounds, waiting to lay flowers and pay their last respects to the soft-spoken former prime minister who was praised by newspapers for attempting to reform the faltering economy.
"It was a wonderful funeral but he died so suddenly I feel very sorry for him," said Masahiro Morioka who attended the funeral.
"He was always smiling and was the kind of person who would say hello to anyone.He was kind and friendly," said Yoriko Goto, remembering Obuchi who was from the same prefecture as Goto.
Flags at government offices fluttered at half mast across Tokyo, while a small alter was erected at the entrance of Obuchi's party headquarters.
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