【February 2019 No.401】Statement on Ceremonies related to Imperial Abdication and Enthronement

by Ishibashi Hideo, Kyodan Moderator


During the period of April 30 and May 1, 2019, the present emperor is scheduled to abdicate his throne and the new emperor is to be enthroned. We wish to express our opposition to the various ceremonies related to these events, particularly the daijosai ceremony [in which the new emperor makes an offering of rice to the Shinto gods]. Following are the reasons for our position.


1. As the various religious ceremonies surrounding the abdication and ascension to the throne are supposed to be religious ceremonies of a private nature conducted by the Imperial Household, having the national government hold the daijosai as a public event gives the impression that the emperor has a separate existence from that of ordinary citizens so leads back to the former deification of the emperor.


2. Having the national government participate in the religious ceremony called the daijosai is in clear violation of Japan’s Constitution, which guarantees religious freedom and the separation of religion from government.


3. No matter how public funds used for the daijosai are labeled, such expenditures of government funding are a violation of the separation of religion from government, as expressly stated in the Constitution.


As followers of Christ who live according to the teaching of Scripture that no being is to be made into a god other than the true God, we express our unyielding opposition to the participation of the government in all religious ceremonies, and particularly the daijosai.(Tr. TB)


July 9, 2018



日本基督教団総会議長  石 橋  秀 雄







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