Plunge Pontificates

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Koizumi's visit to Yasukuni Official or Private?

Reading this article, it shed little new on the situation of Yasukuni until near the end where it said:
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visits Yasukuni Shrine as "a private citizen," not in his official capacity, the government said Tuesday.

The written comments were part of a response to questions by Lower House member Tetsundo Iwakuni of the Democratic Party of Japan.

The government said the prime minister's visits to the shrine are not official events and public money has not been spent on them.

But it did not explain why Koizumi signs the shrine's guest book using his official title.

So what is it? Are we visiting as Koizumi the citizen or Koizumi the Prime Minister? His signature seems to suggest the second.