politics

Group sues over next emperor's enthronement funding

26 Comments
By Toru Yamanaka

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© 2018 AFP

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26 Comments
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They have a valid point, if there is supposed to be a true separation of church and state, public funding should not be used for this ceremony, which is considered to be a religious event here.

But, like the last one, they are going to get turned down, because the court is going to come up with some excuse stating that the needs of the "state" overrule the need to follow the constitution, or some other BS

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Absolutely good on them for doing this - usually I raise this issue of tax-funding this archaic and controversial family from a tiny gene-pool and get shut down. But what does this tax-payer funded over-privileged bunch actually do? And why does it cost so much. Good on the Japanese people for questioning them.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Whether you agree with their point or not, they lost all credibility by adding 'emotional distress' damages to the suit.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

Excellent to see, though highly unlikely it'll lead to any change. Unless Naruhito himself removes the muzzle.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

But what does this tax-payer funded over-privileged bunch actually do? And why does it cost so much. Good on the Japanese people for questioning them.

"They" are not the one's making the decisions about using public money. The government, specifically the Abe cabinet, are the one's who decided this.

A very select group of people, particularly those in religious sects, are the focus of the lawsuits against this funding, as they are in effect being discriminated against as well. They are not against the Emperor, just against public funding.

Personally speaking these ceremonies COULD be funded totally with private donations, as there are plenty that would be willing to fund them,

The Japanese people in general are very much in favor of having the Emperor system. One must understand the position of the Emperor as the "Head of State", here, even though it is a ceremonial position, the past, present, and future, of Japan lies with the symbolism associated with the Emperor.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

"At the last enthronement, some 1,700 plaintiffs filed lawsuits, and there was a certain public support," Shin said.

So the previous one had 1700, this one has 240 plaintiffs (so far) what do they expect to achieve when the previous one failed with higher numbers?

The plaintiffs are also seeking damages of 10,000 yen each for emotional distress over the issue, he said.

Wait, what? What emotional distress? Japan follows both Shinto and Buddhism regardless of how you see this particular ceremony most of Japanese still practice and follow certain ceremonies from both religions. You can't be a hypocrite and talk about one ceremony using tax money when you participate in others that do exactly the same. That's cherry-picking.

after Akihito ascended the throne -- cost around 12.3 billion yen at the time ($108 million at the current exchange rate).

Why would you spend $108 mill on getting someone into symbolic position since we all know that emperor has no real power. He is there to smile and wave...

Japan really doesn't know how to spend its money.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The plaintiffs are also seeking damages of 10,000 yen each for emotional distress over the issue

Just as I thought there was a glimmer of common sense in their actions, they try this.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Whether you agree with their point or not, they lost all credibility by adding 'emotional distress' damages to the suit.

I agree. This is just ridiculous.

Again, what the actual f... Why would you spend $108 mill on getting someone into symbolic position since we all know that emperor has no real power. He is there to smile and wave...

> Japan really doesn't know how to spend its money.

Again. i agree. This is just ridiculous

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Granted it's on a much larger scale, but this just reminds me of the endless lawsuits that pop up every year in the US the second a Christmas tree is put up in a public building.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Does anyone know the actual cost of the previous ceremony? Since the figure comes from one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, I'm not putting much faith in its accuracy. Especially given it's from someone who is trying to get damages for 'emotional distress' from something that hasn't even happened yet. $108 million seems awfully high.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Every time I buy something in Japan I wonder where the taxed portion is going!

Maybe on some choice armaments from the US,an upgrade to Abe’s plane,a round of drinks for some bureaucrat in Ginza?

I feel distressed most of the day......

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Japan really doesn't know how to spend its money.

Naaah.......Japan is great at it. Find something that offers minimum return for maximum cost and throw as much as possible at it. The sheeple taxes will cover it all. Voila...

3 ( +5 / -2 )

The Japanese public debt exceeded one quadrillion yen or about US$10.46 trillion in 2013, more than twice the country's annual gross domestic product. By 2015, the figure rose to US$11.06 trillion.

I wonder if Japan stopped wasting money on ceremonies like these, pledging to fight war on terror (if you guys remember Japan promised $200 mill to help the US fight terrorists, and then Goto and that other dude got killed by ISIS lol ) and Japan "investing" in countries of Africa, SEA etc.. They could have paid off their debt by now but nope, they just keep pilling it up more and more..

And I love when Japanese complain about high consumption tax of 8% like wtf...

Advice to Japan "STOP WASTING YOUR MONEY, PAY OFF YOUR DEBT!!!" simple, right? :)

1 ( +3 / -2 )

most of Japanese still practice and follow certain ceremonies from both religions. You can't be a hypocrite and talk about one ceremony using tax money when you participate in others that do exactly the same.

I don't think it's hypocritical, you're comparing apples and oranges. Organizations using private funds for a religious ceremony of their choice, and the imperial household using public funds for a religious ceremony (the taxpayers have no choice in contributing to) are two very different things. I haven't heard of the Imperial household using taxes for other religious ceremonies (such as from Buddhist or Christian traditions), if they do and these groups are not suing at those times too, then that would indeed be hypocritical.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The whole "separation of state and religion" thing is obviously just a pretext for these groups :

buddhists likely want to be funded as much as the enthronement is : over the next 25 years, 27,000 of the country’s 77,000 temples are expected to close, in one of the biggest existential (and financial) crises facing Japanese Buddhism since it was introduced from Korea in the sixth century.

christians likely want Japan to get rid of its own historical traditions and symbols on behalf of secularism : see what is happening all over western Europe.

I would even say extremist secularism, because christians and specifically catholics would rather be glad to be wiped out as long as islam can overtake them.

They could have argued that the enthronement ceremony costs should be reduced, but no, their main issue is the religious nature of it ! It looks like they wouldn't say anything if such money were spent over a non-religious thing, regardless of the amount of public money spent on it.

Lastly, the "emotional distress" is the icing on the cake. But it is even worse than this. here is their true quote :

"In their complaint, they claim that Sokui no Rei ceremonies and the Daijosai ritual featuring the new Emperor and the year’s harvest “give a mythological explanation of Japan’s establishment and structure and mean the connection between Japanese people and a transcendent existence through state Shinto rituals conducted by the Emperor.”

The spending of public money on the ceremonies (...) puts psychological pressure on people believing in religions other than Shinto, they said."

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2018/12/10/national/crime-legal/lawsuit-filed-japans-state-funded-ceremonies-marking-imperial-enthronement/#.XA8IZmgzZPY

There you go ! Minority and/or non-native religions trying to deny one country's mythology, history, traditions, culture !

Next step, they will surely ask safe spaces when the enthronement ceremony takes place...

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Ok... we've all seen ceremonies involving these people. New Years, awards, etc..

How in the h&ll do these things approach even 1/50th of 108,000,000? How much does it cost for over-dressed people to stand around?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Obvious violation of not separating church and state. When the new emperor was admonished about the error they doubled down on their duplicity so clearly the bribes have already been allocated

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Even Naruhito has said he doesn't want public money being used for this. I suspect, though, that even he won't be listened to unless the government can figure out a way to do some serious fundraising between now and May. A gofundme campaign should do the trick.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I don't know why people bother. Everyone knows that in several years time, once the money has been spent, the Japanese "justice" system will find all spending entirely appropriate.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

“give a mythological explanation of Japan’s establishment and structure and mean the connection between Japanese people and a transcendent existence through state Shinto rituals conducted by the Emperor.”

Not untrue, the climax of the Daijo-sai is the ritual "union" of the emperor with his supposed ancestor--the sun-goddess Amaterasu herself. Consider the Japanese creation myth in the Kojiki, and by whom it was written down. Don't forget there are also atheist/non-religious people who don't want their tax money being used for superstitious and religious rituals. They are a minority--reflected in the small number supporting this suit--but I think it's wrong to dismiss them simply for being "minority and non-native religions"

But actually, what they believe or don't believe should be beside the point. The point is that it is not constitutional for the government/imperial household religious ceremony to get funding from taxes. This tiny suit won't change anything but could arouse some further questioning of how citizens want their leaders--real and symbolic--to interpret the constitution.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They'll lose the suit, of course, and the IHA will reign in any such comments from "royalty" in the future, but any single person who says that Shinto is a Japanese religion and ingrained in society canNOT condone the use of national funds for what they admit is a religious practice. Can't have it both ways. But, Abe and the nationalist morons in government have done it in the past -- forcing G8 members to visit and take part in religious ceremonies at the Ise summit, so he's not going to care. Part of his "beautiful Japan" plan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good. Not a hope in hell of winning, but only because they have a valid point backed with evidence. That sort of thing never flies with the DOJ.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

game of thrones

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How much does it cost for over-dressed people to stand around?

There would be more cute, little envelopes getting pushed around for one of these 'divine' events than married salary-men in girls' bars on a Friday night... More than one could imagine!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There they go, ignoring the Constitution again, no wonder they want to rewrite it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is always a group of people who feel this way and its perfectly fine, however don't ruin it for the rest of us!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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