Industry minister to represent Canada at former Japanese PM’s funeral

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OTTAWA — Federal Business Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne will signify Canada at former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe’s state funeral this week.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was scheduled to go to Japan and attend Tuesday’s funeral, however cancelled these plans to supervise restoration efforts after post-tropical storm Fiona ravaged a lot of jap Canada and elements of Quebec.

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Describing Abe as a pal and ally of Canada, Champagne says the previous Japanese prime minister performed an necessary function bringing the 2 nations nearer collectively.

Trudeau was slated to fulfill present Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida as Japan prepares to take over as president of the G7 and the Liberal authorities finalizes its new Indo-Pacific technique.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Champagne says he doesn’t know if he’ll meet Kishida on behalf of Trudeau.

However he says along with paying respects to Abe, he expects to fulfill Japanese officers to debate the bilateral relationship and areas of mutual co-operation.

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“Definitely, I feel Prime Minister Kishida is aware of how deeply engaged we’ve been, actually on the economic, industrial and financial entrance,” he mentioned.

“And we’ll be assembly with a lot of folks. I simply don’t know if the assembly with the prime minister will nonetheless be taking place.”

Champagne was in Japan delivering a speech to enterprise representatives in Tokyo when Abe was assassinated by a gunman in July.

The business minister says it was a surreal second when he realized the previous Japanese prime minister had been killed.

“I used to be actually giving a speech,” Champagne mentioned. “I used to be like three-quarters into it and instantly I began to see folks their telephones. And somebody got here to the rostrum and suggested me that one thing very tragic had occurred.”

Abe’s state funeral is a delicate subject in Japan, the place such memorials are unusual and the late chief’s legacy stays disputed.

Abe, a conservative nationalist in a rustic that embraced pacifism after the Second World Warfare, was assassinated with a do-it-yourself firearm almost three months in the past.

In a mirrored image of deep divisions, an aged man reportedly set himself on hearth to protest the funeral, and extra demonstrations are anticipated within the coming days.

— With recordsdata from The Related Press.

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