Nara: A hearse carrying the body of assassinated former prime minister Shinzo Abe arrived in Tokyo on Saturday from the western Japanese city where he was shot at close range on the campaign trail.
The murder of Japan's best-known politician rattled the country and sent shockwaves around the world, particularly given the nation's low levels of violent crime and strict gun laws.
AFP journalists saw the vehicle enter Abe's residence in the capital, while senior members of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party, dressed in black, lined up to pay their respects.
Mourners visit scene of Abe's assassination
A steady stream of mourners on Saturday visited the scene of former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's assassination in the western city of Nara, an unusual act of political violence that has shocked the nation.
"I'm just shocked that this kind of thing happened in Nara," Natsumi Niwa, a 50-year-old housewife, said after offering flowers with her 10-year-old son near the scene of the killing at a downtown train station.
Abe, a conservative and architect of the "Abenomics" policies aimed at reflating the Japanese economy, inspired the name of her son, Masakuni, with his rallying cry of Japan as a "beautiful nation", Niwa said. "Kuni" means nation in Japanese.
Over 100 people were queuing to lay flowers at midday at a table featuring a photo of Abe giving a speech, with more arriving. Local officials were moving some of the offerings to create space.
A night vigil will be held on Monday, with Abe's funeral to take place on Tuesday, attended by close friends, Japanese media said. There was no immediate word on any public memorial service.