A citizens’ group in Japan’s Osaka filed a lawsuit Friday with the Osaka District Court claiming that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s controversial visit last December to the Yasukuni shrine has violated their constitutional right to “live in peace”, Kyodo News reported.
The suit seeks damages of 10,000 yen (about 100 U.S. dollars) for each of its 540 members and an injunction forbidding Abe from making any further visits to the shrine, the report said.
The plaintiffs for the case argue Abe’s visit glorifies a soldier’s death and qualifies as an act of preparation for war, thereby threatening the lives and freedom of the Japanese people.
After filing the suit, Ryo Yoshioka, one of the plaintiffs, told reporters, “It’s strange the prime minister would make an official visit to Yasukuni given that courts have previously declared such visits unconstitutional. And it’s frightening he’s doing it when tensions across East Asia are high.”
According to the report, another group of about 270 people will file a similar suit with the Tokyo District Court soon.
Abe visited Yasukuni on Dec. 26 last year and made an offering of flowers in his official capacity as prime minister. The shrine was a symbol of Japan’s wartime militarism as 14 class-A war criminals were enshrined there.
Abe’s visit to the shrine drew strong criticism from neighboring countries, such as China and South Korea, which suffered a lot due to Japan’s brutal aggression into the two countries during the World War II.