IOC President Thomas Bach, right, is due to attend the state funeral of Shinzō Abe ©Getty Images

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach is due to be among hundreds of dignitaries in attendance at the state funeral of ex-Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe tomorrow. 

Abe was shot dead in Nara while giving a campaign speech on July 8.

Abe was Japan's Prime Minister from December 2012 until September 2020, during which time Tokyo was awarded the Olympics and Paralympics and also made the unprecedented decision, along with the IOC, to postpone the Games by a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Citing ill health, Abe resigned as Prime Minister before the delayed Olympics and Paralympics were staged.

Two months after resigning, Abe was presented with the gold Olympic Order - the highest honour given out by the IOC.

Abe - who also held the office from 2006 to 2007 - was Japan's longest-serving Prime Minister and hailed as both a "great statesman" and "valiant supporter and a dear friend of the Olympic Movement" by Bach following his assassination.

Abe was at the IOC Session in Buenos Aires in 2013 when Tokyo was awarded the Olympics, and memorably appeared disguised as Nintendo character Mario during the Rio 2016 Closing Ceremony.

The cost of Shinzō Abe's state funeral has sparked protests ©Getty Images
The cost of Shinzō Abe's state funeral has sparked protests ©Getty Images

The state funeral is costing an estimated ¥1.65 billion (£10.6 million /$11.4 million/€11.8 million) and has divided opinion in Japan.

The slain politician's links to the Unification Church - for which suspect Tetsuya Yamagami says he killed Abe - have also come under the microscope.

Japanese media reports suggest 700 foreign guests will attend the state funeral.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and United States vice-president Kamala Harris are all on the guestlist.

South Korea's Prime Minister - not President - and China's former Science and Technology Minister are also due to attend.

The security operation is expected to mirror that of the Olympics and Paralympics.