Mourning for Late PM Nakasone Up to Each University: Kato


Tokyo, Oct. 15 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said Thursday that it will be up to each university to decide whether to join in the mourning for former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone, who died last November.

The education ministry was found to have sent a notice to national universities across the country requesting them to express their condolences when a funeral for Nakasone is held jointly by the cabinet and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Tokyo on Saturday.

At a press conference, Kato said that whether the universities will express their tribute "will be left to their own judgment."

Article 14 of the nation's basic law on school education prohibits political education, such as teaching students to support a specific party.

The ministry's request was made to "ask the institutions for cooperation to broadly express condolences as public institutions," Kato said, adding that this is not mandatory. "We think that the request is not a political activity seeking support for a specific party and that it therefore does not undermine educational neutrality of the ministry," he added.

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Jiji Press