Court rejects petition to block Abe state funeral

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A person prays for late former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Liberal Democratic Party’s headquarters in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, on July 12.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Tokyo District Court has dismissed a petition to block a planned state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a group of citizens said Wednesday.

Presiding Judge Keiji Mukai rejected the petition from the group of 50 citizens for a provisional injunction to suspend the Cabinet decision on the state funeral and prevent the use of state funds for the event.

It cannot be said that the state funeral is intended to oblige each member of the public to express their condolences or mourn for the former prime minister, Mukai said in his ruling, dated Aug. 2.

At a press conference, the group said it has filed an appeal against the ruling.

The group said that there is no legal basis for the state funeral and that forced participation in the ceremony would constitute a violation of the Constitution, which stipulates freedom of thought and conscience.

The judge said the Cabinet decision is widely known among the public and that there is no benefit from seeking an injunction against it.

Even if feelings based on ideology or other factors are hurt due to the use of public funds, that would not necessarily constitute a violation of freedom of thought or conscience, he said.