• Jiji

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The funeral of former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone to be held jointly by the Cabinet and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party will cost some ¥190 million, according to Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato.

The cost will be split evenly between the government and the LDP.

Earlier, the government approved the use of ¥96.43 million from its reserve funds for fiscal 2020 to pay for the funeral of Nakasone, who died last November. The spending plan has been drawing criticism, especially on the internet, for being too costly.

“The planned funeral takes into consideration the former prime minister’s accomplishments and similar precedents in the past in a comprehensive manner,” Kato told a news conference Monday. “The spending will be the minimum required.”

“Based on past examples, we expect that the Cabinet and the party will go fifty-fifty on the cost,” he added. According to the Cabinet Office, the LDP will pay the same amount as the government.

Akira Koike, head of the secretariat of the Japanese Communist Party, slammed the government’s decision over the funeral costs.

“Japanese citizens of course find it strange to be told by the government to first help themselves while the former prime minister is given public help from the get-go,” Koike said in a news conference, referring to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s slogan of creating a society with emphasis on self help, mutual help and public help.

Also touching on a goal laid out by Suga to correct an excessive tendency to stick to precedents, Koike said the government should consider breaking with precedents in planning Nakasone’s funeral.

The first meeting of a committee on the funeral was held Monday at the Prime Minister’s Office. It was attended by Kato, representing the government, and Seiko Noda, executive acting secretary-general of the LDP.

The two sides agreed to take all possible measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus when holding the event, which will take place at a hotel in Tokyo on Oct. 17. It was initially planned for March but was postponed due to the pandemic.

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