Citizens organizations call on prime minister to cancel his visit to
Yasukuni Shrine

Some 200 people from 23 citizens organizations in a meeting in the Diet
building on August 2 confirmed their determination to prevent Prime Minister
Koizumi Jun'ichiro from visiting Yasukuni Shrine on August 15.

Organizers of the meeting were the National Liaison Council of War Dead
families, the National Christian Council of Japan (NCC) Committee on
Yasukuni Shrine, and the National Liaison Council of Monitoring the
Separation of Religion and Politics.

A woman, 88, who took part in the meeting said that her husband was taken
to the war and died at 34. With tears she said, "I don't want my husband to
be called 'the heroic dead.' He was killed."

Yamaguchi Tomio, Japanese Communist Party House of Representatives
member, said that the prime minister's official visit to Yasukuni Shrine
conflicts with the constitutional principles of lasting peace, freedom of
religion, and the separation of religion and politics.

A Dietmember of the Social Democratic Party also took part in the meeting.

Before the meeting, the organizers made representations to the Cabinet
Office calling for the cancellation of Prime Minister Koizumi's visit to the
shrine. (end)