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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 October 14 - 20  > Shii in protest against coercion by state will boycott Nakasone funeral
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2020 October 14 - 20 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Shii in protest against coercion by state will boycott Nakasone funeral

October 16, 2020

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on October 15 announced that he, in protest against coercion by the state to mourn, will not attend a joint funeral service slated for October 17 by the government and the Liberal Democratic Party for former Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro.

At a press conference in the Diet building, Shii said, "I first intended to go to the service as the head of a political party because offering congratulations or condolences should have nothing to do with political affiliation."

However, after he received an invitation to attend the service, it was learned that the Suga government instructed all ministries and agencies to raise a mourning flag and offer a silent prayer to the late Nakasone on the day of the service; the Ministry of Education reminded all national universities to put up a mourning flag and have a moment of silence at 2:10 p.m. in accordance with the timing of the funeral; and the Ministry of Internal Affairs requested all prefectural governors and municipal mayors for cooperation in "expressing sympathies in the same way the government does".

Shii said to the press, "Whoever the deceased is, to offer condolences or to decide whether to do so is a matter relating to freedom of conscience. Condolences are not something that are demanded or coerced by the government."

He added, "Something that violates freedom of conscience is taking place pertaining to the late Nakasone's funeral service. For this reason, I decided to abstain from attending the service."

Past related article:
> Koike: Gov’t should not use taxpayers’ money to share costs for funeral of ex-PM Nakasone [September 27 and 29, 2020]
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