Police increase patrols at Haneda airport ahead of Abe state funeral

Police officers increased their patrols at Tokyo's Haneda airport on Tuesday as Japan strengthens security ahead of a state funeral later this month for slain former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Accompanied by two dogs, around 60 officers, some carrying metal detectors, inspected trash cans, lockers and unattended carts at the airport's Terminal 3, which is expected to be used by foreign delegations attending the Sept. 27 event in Tokyo.

Police also distributed pamphlets to airport users asking for their cooperation in preventing terrorist attacks such as by reporting suspicious objects.

The inspection, which was opened to the press, also involved the airport's terminal building operator and a security company.

The Japanese government expects more than 190 foreign delegations to visit Japan to attend the ceremony at the Nippon Budokan hall.

"It is the police's responsibility to secure the safety of dignitaries traveling to Japan for the state funeral," said Yusuke Takayama, an official of the Metropolitan Police Department, vowing an "all-out" effort by the department.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and European Council President Charles Michel are among the high-ranking foreign dignitaries expected to travel to Japan for the funeral.

Abe, the country's longest-serving premier, was fatally shot while delivering a stump speech in the western city of Nara in July. Itaru Nakamura, commissioner general of the National Police Agency, the top bureaucrat of the Japanese police, stepped down last month to take responsibility over the incident.

© Kyodo News