Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday attended the state funeral of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.

Abe, who was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister and one of its most powerful figures, was assassinated during a political campaign event in Nara city on July 8. He was cremated at a private funeral in Tokyo on July 12.

This is the first time since 1967 that a former prime minister has been given a state funeral, reported Reuters.

Ahead of the funeral, Modi met his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida and conveyed his condolences for Abe’s death, reported PTI. He told Kishida about contributions made by Abe in strengthening the India-Japan partnership as well as conceptualising the vision of a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region, reported The Indian Express.

“The bilateral meeting between Modi and Kishida during the upcoming visit is an opportunity for the two leaders to reaffirm their commitment to further strengthening of India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership,” India’s Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra told PTI.

United States Vice President Kamala Harris and British foreign secretary James Cleverly also attended the state funeral among 48 other former and current world leaders, reported Reuters.

The state funeral started on Tuesday after Abe’s wife, Akie Abe, entered the funeral hall carrying an urn containing her husband’s ashes. The Japanese government is spending $12 million (Rs 97 crore) on the funeral, most of which will be going on security and hosting foreign delegations, reported The Guardian.

The event is being criticised by regular Japanese citizens who continue to face economic stress, reported Reuters.

Abe was shot with a homemade gun by Tetsuya Yamagami, who accused the Unification Church of impoverishing his family.

Yamagami has said that although Abe was not his “original enemy”, the former prime minister was “one of the most influential sympathisers” of the religious sect.

In recent weeks, ties between the Liberal Democratic party and the Unification church has attracted backlash against the Japanese government.