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Posthumously conferred honors by Shinzo Abe, the nobility of the Imperial Family whom he devotedly supported


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Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was assassinated last week during the election campaign in Nara prefecture, has received a series of exceptional honors from the Imperial Family of Japan.

Abe was a powerful ally of the Japanese imperial family, strongly supporting its role in Japanese culture and refusing to budge on a variety of proposed reforms in the institution.

Japan’s government announced on July 11 that Abe would receive the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, the nation’s highest award.

“This is in recognition of his many years of career and achievements, including his efforts in diplomacy, economics, and security policy, with a particular focus on Japan-US relations.” said Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno.

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TOKYO, JAPAN – NOVEMBER 8: Crown Prince Fumihito leaves the Imperial Palace after being formally declared first in line to the Chrysanthemum Throne during a ceremony in which Emperor Naruhito proclaimed his younger brother Crown Prince to the people of Japan on November 8, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

The Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum is an order headed and presided over by the acting Emperor of Japan. It is normally only awarded to members of the Imperial Family, foreign heads of state, and royals of other nations. The award is also given exclusively to men.

Members of the Supreme Order are given a decorative necklace to wear on occasions of great importance: the chain is made of solid gold and adorned with finely engraved floral decorations.

The chrysanthemum is an ancient symbol of the Imperial Family and serves as the Emperor’s coat of arms.

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In the foreground, from left to right, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen Mother, Empress Nagako, Emperor Hirohito and Queen Elizabeth.  In the background of the royal group are, from left to right, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, the Prince of Wales, Princess Anne, Lord Snowdon, Princess Margaret (behind the queen) and, at far right, the Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone.  The Queen wears the Collar and Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, Japan's highest honor;  the Emperor wears the Order of the Garter.  (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)

In the foreground, from left to right, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen Mother, Empress Nagako, Emperor Hirohito and Queen Elizabeth. In the background of the royal group are, from left to right, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, the Prince of Wales, Princess Anne, Lord Snowdon, Princess Margaret (behind the queen) and, at far right, the Princess Alice, Countess of Athlone. The Queen wears the Collar and Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum, Japan’s highest honor; the Emperor wears the Order of the Garter. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)

Abe was also awarded the first junior court rank, a posthumous honor dating back to ancient Japanese nobility.

After World War II, the senior first rank honors functionally ended and have not been passed down, meaning that Abe was awarded the highest honor currently used by the Imperial Family. Since 1945, only highly respected prime ministers have received the honour.

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Japanese Emperor Naruhito speaks as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe bows during a ceremony to proclaim his enthronement to the world, called the Sokuirei-Seiden-no-gi, at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan, Tuesday, October 22, 2019. (Issei Kato/Pool Photo via AP)

Japanese Emperor Naruhito speaks as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe bows during a ceremony to proclaim his enthronement to the world, called the Sokuirei-Seiden-no-gi, at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan, Tuesday, October 22, 2019. (Issei Kato/Pool Photo via AP)

Abe, the country’s first leader born after World War II, is Japan’s longest serving Prime Minister. He served from 2006 to 2007 and again in 2012 until he resigned in 2020 after his chronic ulcerative colitis flared up, calling his decision at the time “heartbreaking.”

Abe’s overwhelming success in office is reflected in the dominance of his Liberal Democratic Party, Japan’s center-right political party and the most powerful institution of Japanese democracy today.

Chrysanthemum lantern at the Meiji Shrine, Tokyo, Japan.  (Photo by: Planet One Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Chrysanthemum lantern at the Meiji Shrine, Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by: Planet One Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A suspicious man was arrested at the scene and an apparent homemade weapon was confiscated. He was identified as Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, Nara prefectural police confirmed.



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