Hearse with Shinzo Abe's body passes through Tokyo

STORY: Crowds packed pavements lined with a heavy police presence as the hearse carrying Abe, who died at age 67, departed from a central Tokyo temple on a procession through the city.

With nearly a dozen helicopters circling overhead, people bowed deeply, their hands clasped in prayer, as the hearse passed in a procession carried live on broadcaster NHK. Others clapped, cheered or waved.

"Thank you very much for your work for our country!," one man repeatedly shouted.

Hundreds had filed into the temple where Abe's funeral was held on Monday evening and Tuesday morning, prior to the private ceremony, to pay their respects. His killing on Friday by an unemployed man wielding a homemade gun stunned a nation where both gun crime and political violence are extremely rare.

The funeral procession passed through the capital's political heart of Nagatacho, where hundreds had lined up in front of the parliament building Abe first entered as a young lawmaker in 1993, after the death of his politician father.

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