Prime Minister Koizumi Jun’ichiro¯and Tokyo Mayor Ishihara Shintaro¯ have repeatedly worshipped at Yasukuni Shrine since 13 August 2001 and 15 August 2000 respectively, and have expressed their intentions to continue worshipping in the future. In the face of this worship, there has been bitter criticism from inside and outside Japan. There are doubts over whether worship by public figures at Yasukuni Shrine, which is an autonomous religious institution (shu¯kyo¯ ho¯jin), contravenes Articles 20 and 89 of the Constitution, the provisions concerning the separation of religion and the state. Furthermore, worship at the shrine where Class A war criminals, those found guilty as the leading war criminals by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, are enshrined, is seen as Japanese political leaders’ neglect of Japan’s war responsibility and causes distrust among the people of Asia, including China and South Korea.