Court rules public spending on imperial rites constitutional

The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the use of public funds for the Kanagawa prefectural governor and assembly president to attend Emperor Akihito's enthronement ceremonies in 1990, including Shinto rites, did not violate the Constitution's call for separation of religion and state.

Upholding lower court decisions, the top court's No. 2 petty bench dismissed a suit filed by 16 Kanagawa residents seeking the return to the prefectural coffers of the 28,000 yen used by the late Gov Kazuji Nagasu and the late prefectural assembly president Takatoki Iguchi as travel expenses to attend the ceremonies.