Tokyo court dismisses group seeking injunction against Abe funeral

Tokyo court dismisses group seeking injunction against Abe funeral

TOKYO Kyodo has been dismissed by a group of 50 people, including civic group members, for an injunction ordering a stop to a state funeral for former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

In a decision on Aug. 2, the Tokyo District Court ruled that the use of public funds for the planned funeral did not violate Article 19 of the Constitution, which guarantees freedom of thought. The group has appealed.

Presiding Judge Keiji Mukai said that a state funeral does not force individual citizens to offer condolences to Mr. Abe or to mourn for him, and there was no legal grounds for issuing an injunction against the use of the national budget.

At a press conference Wednesday, Kaoru Iwata, co-chairman of the civic group, expressed disappointment at the decision, saying it was made without a hearing for involved parties to present their argument.

A group filing a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court on Tuesday filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction against the state funeral.

Iwata's group plans to file a lawsuit Friday at the district courts in Saitama and Yokohama in hopes that other courts will yield more favorable outcomes.

The state funeral will be fully funded by the government on Sept. 27. The Cabinet Office said Tuesday that the cost would likely be just over 200 million yen $1.5 million and that a state funeral would not oblige each and every citizen to mourn. Abe was shot dead by a lone gunman in the western city of Nara on July 8, two days before a House of Councillors election. The country was known for its strict gun control and relatively few instances of political violence after the assassination.