CDPJ lawmakers slam members planning to attend state funeral

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan President Kenta Izumi speaks at a press conference on Sept. 15.

Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan lawmakers have condemned fellow members who plan to attend former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s state funeral on Sept. 27.

CDPJ leader Kenta Izumi decided party executives would not be attending the funeral, but left it up to the discretion of other members as to whether or not to attend.

Former Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, a CDPJ lawmaker, has come under fire from within his party since confirming his attendance.

“A former prime minister not attending the funeral of another former prime minister is not something that corresponds with my view of life,” Noda said in a TV program recorded Friday.

“Law and justice take precedence over a view of life. Prioritizing individuals is something I can’t do,” CDPJ lawmaker Kazuhiro Haraguchi tweeted on the day, following reports on Noda’s intention to attend the funeral.

The Japanese Trade Union Confederation, which backs the CDPJ, also faced criticism after its president Tomoko Yoshino said at a press conference on Sept. 15, “It’s a painful decision, but I have no choice but to attend.”

In a tweet, CDPJ lawmaker Renho said someone in Yoshino’s position should be asking the government to support workers amid surging prices as a matter of priority rather than focusing on the state funeral.

The CDPJ has stressed that the government should not force the public to offer condolences.

Izumi decided on Sept. 15 that CDPJ executives would not attend the funeral, but told its rank-and-file lawmakers the party would not force them to skip the funeral.

Other parties have criticized the inter-party strife.

A senior Liberal Democratic Party official said it doesn’t make sense to pressure people into not expressing their condolences.

A senior member of Nippon Ishin no Kai said, “lawmakers criticizing each other over how to express condolences is unseemly.”