An elderly man set himself on fire in Tokyo early on Wednesday after expressing opposition to a state funeral for assassinated former prime minister, Shinzo Abe.
The government said an individual with burns had been found near the Japanese prime minister’s office.
‘We are aware that a man with burns was found by a police officer at 7am (2200 GMT) this morning at an intersection below the cabinet office,’ top government spokesman Hirokazu Matsuno said.
A Tokyo Fire Department official confirmed a man set himself afire on the street in Tokyo’s Kasumigaseki government district and that he was alive when he was taken to a hospital by ambulance, but declined to give further details, including the man’s identity, motive or condition, citing the sensitivity of what was a police matter.
Local media said the man was taken to hospital and was conscious.
TV Asahi said he told police he was opposed to the planned ceremony for Abe.
According to the television station, a police officer who tried to extinguish the fire was injured in the process.
Jiji news agency said handwritten notes found near the man said he was ‘staunchly opposed’ to the state funeral.
The man is believed to be in his 70s and told police he had doused himself in oil.’
By mid-morning, the only sign of the incident was a scorched patch of grass and bush, with police and media nearby.
Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, was shot dead on July 8 while campaigning, and a publicly funded state funeral honouring him will be held on September 27.
A family funeral for Abe was held at a Buddhist temple in July. The state funeral is scheduled for next Tuesday at the Budokan martial arts arena in Tokyo.