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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 September 16 - 29  > Koike: Gov’t should not use taxpayers’ money to share costs for funeral of ex-PM Nakasone
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2020 September 16 - 29 [POLITICS]

Koike: Gov’t should not use taxpayers’ money to share costs for funeral of ex-PM Nakasone

September 27 and 29, 2020
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on September 28 at a press conference said that the government should not spend the estimated 96 million yen to share the cost for the funeral of the late former Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro.

Three days earlier, the Suga Cabinet decided to expend 96 million yen from the reserve fund of the 2020 budget on the funeral of the Liberal Democratic Party politician which will be held jointly by the Cabinet and the LDP in October. This Cabinet decision triggered angry reactions on social media saying that the amount of the money is excessive and that the fund should be used to improve coronavirus measures instead. In defiance of the criticism, Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu on September 28 at his regular press briefing said that the planned expenditure is at “the minimum necessary level”.

Koike said that the Cabinet and the LDP held a joint funeral for the first time in 1980 when the then LDP Prime Minister Ohira Masayoshi died while in office. He continued to point out that since then, successive cabinets have followed suit every time a former prime minister died with only a few exceptions. PM Suga Yoshihide even said previously that the government should do away with its excessive and senseless reliance on precedent. Koike stressed that most people will think it senseless to pour as much as 100 million yen of taxpayers’ money into a funeral ceremony and urged the government to review the practice of joint funerals.

Nakasone died in November 2019. A joint funeral was initially scheduled for March this year, but postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The government planned to use 83 million yen on this ceremony from the reserve fund of the 2019 budget.

Past related articles:
> Media uncritically reported former PM Nakasone’s death [December 8, 2019]
> Ex-PM Nakasone admits lying about nuclear secret pact [April 1, 2010]
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