Japan gov't asks universities, others to join mourning for late PM Nakasone

Kyodo -- Oct 15
Japan's education ministry has requested national universities and other official institutions to join the central government in mourning for former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone during his state memorial service this weekend, school officials said Wednesday.
But the request, made on behalf of the central government by education minister Koichi Hagiuda in a letter dated Tuesday, has left some academics questioning its appropriateness. The Cabinet of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga decided on Oct. 2 that all ministries will fly flags at half-mast and observe a moment of silence at 2:10 p.m. Saturday -- the day of the joint memorial service for Nakasone, who died in November last year, arranged by the Cabinet and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. The Cabinet also decided to ask related institutions do the same as a token of mourning for the late prime minister, with Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato sending a letter to Hagiuda asking him to inform the relevant parties. Hagiuda forwarded Kato's letter to the heads of national universities and independent agencies under their jurisdiction, as well as educational associations, requesting they do what they thought best in accordance with the contents of the letter. He also forwarded the letter to prefectural boards of education "for their reference," and requested they inform local education boards. - Kyodo