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2022年9月22日 (木)

“NO” to Abe’s State Funeral

“NO” to Abe’s State Funeral

Ex-Diet Members Concerned with Unruly Government

September 21, 2022

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida sent ex-Diet members invitations to the State Funeral of Former Prime Minister Abe, certifying that ex-Diet members are active stakeholders in the matter. As such, we now make public our reasons for demanding that the government cancel holding the State Funeral.

Before we begin, we pray for the repose of the spirit of Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. We also wholeheartedly deny all violence. We do not condone murder under any circumstances. To eradicate violence from our society, we emphasize the necessity that members share the value of non-violence and the will to create a peaceful one.

We realize that many, including intellectual leaders, have already argued eloquently to oppose the State Funeral logically, legally, historically, and from the standpoint of preserving democracy.  However, let us list our reasons even if there are redundancies: 

(A) “The State Funeral” is unconstitutional (The sin of the current administration) 

Bundling up people’s senses of respect and mourning as one “State Funeral” by negating the diversity of such individual feelings is against Article 19. Picking up Former PM Abe, just one individual among all Diet members is against Article 14. Praising a public official who has ostensibly violated Articles 15 and 99 without any legal basis is again a violation of Article 99.

This fact alone should be enough to cancel the State Funeral. However, even if we attach a hypothesis that the State Funeral is allowable and continue observing what the State Funeral entails, we conclude that cancellation is the answer. Let us trace the reasoning:

(B) Even if the “State Funeral” is allowed to exist, the the reality of it compels us to conclude that it should not occur.

 Even if the “State Funeral” takes place, it will demonstrate the antipodal reality of the purposes the government wishes to accomplish. 

     The government purports to accomplish three objectives by holding the “State Funeral”:

  1. To publicly honor Former PM Abe’s accomplishments.
  2. To protect and preserve democracy.
  3. To conduct funeral diplomacy.

As for (a), what we and the general public seek is not to “honor” and “praise” Former PM Abe but to condemn his unconstitutional acts, as we explain in below. 

(b) If democracy has any relevance to the “State Funeral,” bulldozing to hold it while the public opinion is divided into two clear parts is against the principle of democracy.

(c) “Funeral diplomacy” is a typical example of putting the cart before the horse and, therefore, is not acceptable as a basis for holding the “State Funeral.” If the present cabinet lacks the diplomatic capability to the degree that it must rely on the funeral to properly discharge its responsibility, rather than holding the State Funeral, the resignation of the entire cabinet is in order.   

 We should first condemn Former PM Abe’s acts violating the Constitution. 

We should be condemning the crime of Former PM Abe, who ridiculed, scoffed at, and reduced the Diet to just a nominal existence instead of the “highest organ of state power” stipulated by Article 41.

The fact that Abe lied in the official Diet sessions more than one hundred times and mocked members of the Diet at the speaker’s stand from the PM’s seat with fake statements is grave enough for disciplinary action because his actions did destroy the citadel of discourse. (as reported by The Mainichi, https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20201222/p2a/00m/0na/002000c)

The truth behind the purported scandals such as the “Moritomo Case,” “Kake Scandal,” and “Sakura Problem” became impossible to reach because of bureaucratic misbehaviors that doctored relevant documents and hid or discarded them. We see no hope that would shed light on these matters. The conscientious worker, who committed suicide after trying to serve the whole community according to Article15 while suffering from the pressure that the superiors applied, left us a huge homework. However, the government has not discharged its responsibility, which violates Article 99.     

 “Peer Review” by fellow Diet members should also count.

Ex-Diet members are likely to become the object of the “State Funeral.” Consequently, “peer reviews” by colleagues and former colleagues in the Diet should have a place in making the final decision.  

We believe the minimum requirement is that a candidate should be a former colleague whom we can “respect.” Without such a condition, most citizens of this country would not accept the final decision. 

The criteria most of us uphold (sometimes implicitly) can be summarized as follows: 

(a) someone determined to respect and uphold the Constitution (Article 99), (b) to work as a servant to the whole community (Article 15), and (c) who is trustworthy, in other words, someone who does not lie to oneself. It is unreasonable to expect that anyone would consider someone who openly told lies in the Diet more than one hundred times and got away with it worthy of respect.

(C) We must be “fair” to the participants from overseas.

Practically everyone in Japan knows Abe’s acts of violating the Constitution, trivializing the Diet, and numerous scandals surrounding him, especially those related to the Unification Church. However, that is not the case overseas. That is, we need to inform them beforehand of the unique background behind the State Funeral in Japan to the dignitaries who intend to participate.

A couple of facts might be relevant and noteworthy. One is that Abe made false statements in the Diet 118 times over the party expenses scandal (as reported by The Mainichi, https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20201222/p2a/00m/0na/002000c)

The other is that by participating in the Unification Church’s significant events, Abe and his cronies gave a stamp of approval, diverted the general public’s attention from its wrongdoings, and endorsed its activities. For example, Daishiro Yamagiwa, Minister for Economic Revitalization, admitted on September 20 that he attended such meetings and, by his attendance, gave a seal of approval to the Unification Church. (As reported by the Mainichi Shimbun digital, https://mainichi.jp/articles/20220920/k00/00m/010/087000c

By participating in the State Funeral, dignitaries from overseas, would unknowingly play the same role as Minister Yamagiwa. They would give a stamp of approval to Abe’s acts of violating the Constitution, trivializing the Diet, and numerous scandals surrounding him, especially those related to the Unification Church.”

The Japanese public might interpret their role as carrying water for those who wish to sweep Abe’s negative legacy under the rug.

Perhaps, this scenario is the result of the lack of sensitivity on the part of those who ended up legitimatizing and endorsing the Unification Church. However, it is only fair that we warn the foreign dignitaries of the situation before they arrive in Japan.

[Members and endorsers] (alphabetically)

Tadatoshi Akiba, Kazue Fujita, Kenichi Hamada, Ryoichi Hattori, Hideo Hiraoka, Satoru Ienishi, Eiko Ishige, Tetsuo Kaneko, Etsuko Kawada, Shokichi Kina, Kimiko Kurihara, Chizuko Kuroiwa, Nobuo Matsuno, Hiroko Mizushima, Tomoko Nakagawa, Kinuko Ofuchi, Hiromi Okazaki, Masako Owaki, Yukiko Seko, Megumu Tsuji, Kenichi Ueno, Masahiko Yamada,Wakako Yamaguchi, Haruko Yoshikawa (24 members)

 

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