Another post about Shinto politics today, I’m afraid.
The 11 July issue of Jinja Shinpō had a short article reporting the official statements on the current state of the elections for the leadership of Jinja Honchō. The Board of Directors held an emergency meeting on June 23rd, and on July 1st (the first day of the financial year for Jinja Honchō), they sent a statement about it to all the Prefectural Jinjachō. This said that four issues had been decided.
First, by a majority vote, they had re-elected Revd Tanaka as president. At the same time, they had confirmed, by a majority vote, that Revd Ashihara, whom the chairman had appointed, was not president. Second, by a majority vote they had elected Revd Yoshikawa as Vice President. (I am pretty sure that that is also a re-election.) Third, they had elected Revd Ono and Revd Fujië as executive directors, again by majority vote. For the first two, they would “receive the honour of the chairman appointing them”, and until that time Revd Tanaka would continue to serve as president. The election of Executive Directors does not need the chairman’s approval, so those are already effective. Finally, they had agreed (by majority vote) that Revd Tanaka would make all necessary decisions to continue the normal activities of Jinja Honchō. The repeated mentions of “majority vote” are significant, because decisions of the board have normally been unanimous.
The article concludes by quoting from the letter in which the chairman, Revd Takatsukasa, announced that he had appointed Revd Ashihara (one of the directors) as president. He said that the events from the real estate deal to the loss at the Supreme Court risked damaging public trust in Jinja Honchō, and that the new president needed to investigate the whole sequence of events objectively. The new president should ensure that the operations of Jinja Honchō were “compliant with the law, transparent, and fair”, and that Jinja Honchō did not cause such a scandal again.
To remind people who are not obsessively interested in this, one question at issue is whether the Board of Directors has the authority to do the first, second, and fourth things that it claims to have done at this meeting. (Appointing the executive directors is clearly within its authority.)
So, the problem obviously hasn’t been solved yet, and the public statements do not suggest that the two sides are moving towards a compromise. I hope that there are positive moves behind the scenes.