Posted March. 07, 2005 22:35,
Easing Law on Separation of State and Religion
Japans Mainichi Daily News reported Monday that the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Japans New Constitution Foundation Committee plans to ease the law regarding the separation of state and religion. By doing so, religious practices of the nation and local governments that fall into the range of social rituals or customary activities will be acceptable.
According to the paper, the LDP intends to secure constitutional support for a prime ministers visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, where war criminals are commemorated, by interpreting a politicians official shrine visits as a tradition.
Japans separation of state and religion was enacted as regret over the past movements to regard Shinto as a national religion, with the Japanese king at the center of worship. Therefore, the LDPs decision to ease the state-religion separation is likely to give rise to a series of criticism from neighboring countries such as China and the opposition parties, the Mainichi Daily News reported.
Last April, the Fukuoka District Court ruled Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumis visits to the Yasukuni Shrine unconstitutional on the grounds that the visits were official activities.