Experts call for Diet involvement in state funerals

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s state funeral will be staged at the Nippon Budokan in Tokyo on September 27.

As a result of the public hearing announced by the government on the 19th, many experts believe that the involvement of the Diet in the state funeral is desirable.

The government has interviewed experts in the field to consider a state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. In response to public opinion split over the pros and cons of funerals, the government has put together a list of pros and cons, and many experts are calling for the Diet’s involvement in the future.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno said at a press conference on the 27th, “We will discuss what procedures should be taken, including future responses.” [in terms of] Regarding the relationship with the Diet,” I heard the opinions of the ruling and opposition parties.

The government conducted face-to-face interviews with 21 experts — including constitutional and administrative law experts and media representatives — after Abe’s Sept. 27 funeral. Opinions include the significance of funerals, the involvement of the Diet, the standards for awarding the deceased, the legal basis and relationship with the Constitution, public understanding, public understanding, cost and appropriateness of scale.

Regarding Prime Minister Abe’s state funeral, while there are many positive views about the significance of Prime Minister Abe’s state funeral, such as “filling the people’s sense of loss” and “showing the government’s stance not to give in to terrorism,” there are also criticisms. There was also a voice. Junichi Miyama, a professor at Chuo University, said, “We created a negative legacy that only drags the people into conflict.”

Seikei University professor Shinichiro Takeda said, “It’s hard to come to a consensus on who should be eligible for state funerals.” Some argued that the then prime minister and cabinet should take responsibility for making decisions.

Regarding public understanding, some argued that the government should have provided a more detailed explanation.

Abe’s funeral expenses were cut from a preliminary estimate of about 1.24 billion yen to 1.2 billion yen in line with the announcement of the results of the public hearing. Kazuhisa Kawakami, a professor at Reitaku University, said the amount was “reasonable,” but there were also voices calling for the relevant political parties to pay a certain amount.

In the future, attention will be paid to the relationship between state funerals and the Diet. With regard to whether or not state funerals should be held, a majority of calls for the involvement of the Diet were made, and this was clearly emphasized in the report of the House of Representatives dated December 10.

However, a senior Liberal Democratic Party official points out, “It’s difficult to find common ground between the ruling and opposition parties regarding the specifics of how the Diet should be involved.”

In fact, there is little momentum for deepening discussions between the ruling and opposition parties, and it is unclear to what extent specific rules can be presented.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno holds a press conference at the prime minister’s official residence.

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