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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 September 7 - 13  > JCP Chair Shii: I won't attend 'state funeral' for ex-PM Abe
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2022 September 7 - 13 TOP3 [POLITICS]

JCP Chair Shii: I won't attend 'state funeral' for ex-PM Abe

September 9, 2022

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo at a press conference in the Diet building on September 8, asked if he will attend former Prime Minister Abe Shinzo's "state funeral", answered, "I won't attend any event that violates the Japanese Constitution."

He added that he will participate in a rally held to oppose the state funeral on September 27 in front of the main gate of the Diet building.

Citing PM Kishida Fumio's remark that "respect and condolences to the deceased will be offered as a nation", Shii said, "National sovereignty resides with citizenry. As a matter of course, 'a nation' includes the average citizen. Therefore, the holding of the state funeral will breach people's right to 'freedom of thought and conscience'."

Prior to the press conference, off-session meetings took place in both chambers of the Diet over the issue of ex-PM Abe's state funeral. JCP member of the House of Representatives Shiokawa Tetsuya and JCP member of the House of Councilors Nihi Sohei both attended the meeting.

Shiokawa criticized the state funeral for endorsing in principle the antisocial activities of the Moonies (formally, the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification) because Abe is said to have had close ties with the Moonies.

Shiokawa pointed out that Abe had played a role as "a walking, talking billboard" for the Moonies and also as "a control tower" in elections for the allocation of believers' votes and of election campaigners from the Moonies to LDP candidates. He stated that the holding of the state funeral while keeping the Abe-Moonies link obscured will not gain public understanding, and demanded that the funeral be cancelled.

In response, PM Kishida said, "Now that Abe has passed away, it is difficult to accurately determine his relationship with the organization."

JCP Nihi said, "Expressing respect and condolences to the late Abe 'as a nation' is tantamount to virtually asking the entire nation to express sympathies over his death. This will be a violation of people's right to freedom of conscience guaranteed in Article 19 of the Constitution."

PM Kishida replied, "We are not compelling each individual to extend his/her condolences." Nihi said in response, "A nation embraces the public. The state funeral should be cancelled."

Past related articles:
> Teachers’ union to Education Minister: Don’t force public schools to express condolences during Abe state funeral [September 2 & 3, 2022]
> Religious figures issue statement calling for withdrawal of Cabinet decision on ex-PM Abe’s state funeral [August 19, 2022]
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