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Japan ministers, but not premier, visit war shrine

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Why be angry with them? Do we know what they prayed there? Maybe they were apologizing, or asking forgiveness of those who gave their lives, or admonishing those who committed crimes. Why does visiting that shrine have a bad connotation?

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Seiko Noda, who? She was Shouko Shima, I remember. She is a liar by nature.

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August 15th,2008(today) 125 million Japanese will focus on the Olympics, thanks in part to the media...I repeat 125 million....The Emperor of Japan who too, like so many of his mindless herds will focus on Gold and Silver rather than Red; the blood of millions of Japanese souls that died in his name. Today he will not lay a reef on the memorial epitaphs of the youth he sent so carelessly to their deaths, so easily and so mindlessly.

Today, the emperor will stand proudly clapping his hands as yet another olympic athletes receives another medal in the countries honor. I can see the emperor's eyes glistening with pride as the slow dirge of the Japanese national anthem play out over the loud speakers for all the world to hear. I can see the distant fan waving that all too familiar red and white flag bearing the symbol and legacy of his majesty Emperor Akihito. This is Japanese pride !

What you won't see here in Japan, is that same fan waving that same flag here in the countries honor. You see, to wave that Japanese flag in Japan would constitute as an offense, as most Japanese regard it as a symbol of right wing aggression, and Anarchy ! Even visiting Yasukuni Shrine, or even mentioning its name is considered taboo, and is not talked about in social circles. The souls of millions of Japanese men and women lay at the foot of Yasukuni dishonoured and disrespected, not only by 125 million Japanese, but by the emperor himself ! No one dare stand in their honor ;no one sings a song in their name; No one is grateful for their sacrifices; no one is holding a candle lit vigil in their memory ! They died defending the country from foreign aggression. They died following orders; they died honouring the emperor; they died so that millions of spoiled and ungrateful Japanese can live in prosperity and peace. The Soul of Japan died with those millions of Japanese soldiers.

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Actually alot of people go to the Yasukuni Shrine. Some to pray for deceased family members, some to pay respects to the war dead, and the vast majority to pray for peace.

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You see, to wave that Japanese flag in Japan would constitute as an offense, as most Japanese regard it as a symbol of right wing aggression, and Anarchy !

Nonsense. Most Japanese hardly think of the flag at all, let alone associate it with anything in particular outside of it being the flag of Japan. You give most Japanese too much credit.

They died defending the country from foreign aggression.

Its obvious whose history books you have been reading!

they died so that millions of spoiled and ungrateful Japanese can live in prosperity and peace.

Actually, it was the survivors of the war that brought peace and prosperity to Japan.

Those who died fighting should be honoured. Those who died at the gallows should not. That is the trouble with Yasukuni. They honour war criminals alongside those truly deserving hommage.

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The Emperor of Japan who too, like so many of his mindless herds will focus on Gold and Silver rather than Red; the blood of millions of Japanese souls that died in his name. Today he will not lay a reef on the memorial epitaphs of the youth he sent so carelessly to their deaths, so easily and so mindlessly.

Akihito was seven years old when the war ended. No Japanese went to war in his name, nor did he send anyone to their deaths, mindlessly or otherwise.

The souls of millions of Japanese men and women lay at the foot of Yasukuni dishonoured and disrespected, not only by 125 million Japanese, but by the emperor himself !

The only ones disrespecting the souls of the millions of Japanese war dead are the jerks at Yasukuni who took on themselves to put 14 convicted war criminals in there with them.

they died so that millions of spoiled and ungrateful Japanese can live in prosperity and peace.

No, they died because they were led and misled by unscrupulous, bellicose leaders - including the 14 who shouldn't be enshrined at Yasukuni - who convinced them that defeat would mean the ruin of Japan and the ignominious death of their families and loves ones at the hands of the barbarian enemy.

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And on the subject of tasteful remembrance, those penguin suits the pollies insist on wearing are the height of tastelessness.

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This shrine doesn't enshrine the soldiers of shogunate who fought for Japan in Boshin civil war. It is nonsense.

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If my father, grand father, uncle or great uncle had been tried & convicted of being a war criminal & executed they would still be my father, grand father, uncle or great uncle & as such would still be entitled to my respect because of the kinship we would share.

Maybe we should all look at our own family (even if they are already dead) & ask ourselves, what if my xxxxxxx (who ever) was to be found to be a war criminal, how would I then behave toward that person, how would I feel toward that person? And just to test yourself a little ask what the difference would be if they were tried & found guilty by a foreign power?

I am not defending war criminals, I am defending peoples rights to respect who they believe they have a right to respect. They are not asking you share in that, only to mind your own business.

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To seansezso and cleo : To the point !

Let me add that these criminals were enshrined not in the emotional context that would have followed the end of the fighting, but in a surreptitious move that took place in 1978, when the memorial tablets of these 14 people were secretly brought into Yasukuni ; this was one of the most spectacular moves by the revisionist circles, and it dit not prevent then prime minister Ohira from coming to worship, later imitated by Nakasone who made this part of his official calendar !

Revisionism and glorification of those responsible for atrocities that took the life of about 26 million human beings in the Asia-Pacific area has been going at a healthy pace, with complicity of all cabinets, since the end of the Tokyo trials. In December 1948 the ashes of 7 criminals condemned by the TMIEO and executed thereafter were in part buried (and not dispersed as had been imposed by the SCAP) ; the families managed to take possession of these ashes in 1955, and in 1960 they were sealed in a common tomb in Hazu, on which was engraved a calligraphy offered by no less than the speaker of the Upper Chamber of the Diet, saying "Tomb of the Seven Martyrs".

Another absurdity that makes these visits all the more unacceptable (but it is only an absurdity, nothing to deter a Japanese politician or ageing fanatic), is the fact that Yasukuni is a private shrine: it was officially privatized in application of the 1947 Constitution and as a logical consequence of the dissolution of the link between the State and Shinto. One of the most vehement demands of the revisionist right is that Yasukuni should be nationalized again.

Now, for those who believe that all the dead worshiped at Yasukuni are just "plain" souls and for that all equal and all to be respected, I would recommend to think a bit about the implications of what was said of them in 1938 in an article of the Japan Times (written on the occasion of a visit there by Tenno). Forgive me for an approximative rendering, this article has been translated into French and back into English :

"Sanctified under the name of kami, the soldiers become deities in charge of the protection of the Empire. They are no longer human beings, they have become the pillars of the Empire. All enshrined at Yasukuni, they maintain neither rank nor distinctions. Generals ans soldiers alike, they are no longer military personnel, they have turned into as many pillars. It is as pillars of the nation that the Emperor and the people dedicate a cult to them." (Also cited by Frank Gibney in his Letters to the Editor of Asahi Shimbun in 1987).

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If my father, grand father, uncle or great uncle had been tried & convicted of being a war criminal & executed they would still be my father, grand father, uncle or great uncle & as such would still be entitled to my respect because of the kinship we would share

Nobody would deny you that it is a private affair, Yasukuni however is not a private affair but a public shrine and the respect you may have for your kin if they were war criminals out of sense of family obligations or blood ties is admirable however..........

I am not defending war criminals, I am defending peoples rights to respect who they believe they have a right to respect. They are not asking you share in that, only to mind your own business.

Minding our own business would mean they should not have been interened in Yasukuni shrine in the first place. That decision made it our business and one that in my opinion was a pretty lousy one to make in regards to class A war criminals.

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Would it be ok for americans to worship at a memorial dedicated to the bomb (like in the sequel to planet of the apes)?

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"Now, for those who believe that all the dead worshiped at Yasukuni are just "plain" souls and for that all equal and all to be respected, I would recommend to think a bit about the implications of what was said of them in 1938 in an article of the Japan Times (written on the occasion of a visit there by Tenno). Forgive me for an approximative rendering, this article has been translated into French and back into English"

In 1938 the Emperor of Japan was a God and Shintoism was the national state religion upon which the Military leaders built their facist Imperial Japan. Post WWII the Emperor Hirohito declared that he was not a God on national radio heard by all Japanese. The survivors of WWII anyway. I don't think that statement from 1938 applies today considering the complete change in the position of the Emperor and the Shinto reliogn itself.

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Imagawa, we are in complete agreement. I believe that people have the right to honor their family members sacrifices even those convicted of war crimes. It's such an easy label to apply but remember only the defeated side has "war criminals" the victors only have "heros". This is no one's business unless their family is interred at Yaskuni. The right and the left and foreigners make too much out of this issue.

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yukotojo

ok its almost midnight 8/15/2008, hope you had a good day, see you same time next year, same JT-channel, same delusions!

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Good post usaexpat and Imagawa, and like I posted in my initial openning, the emperor is not visiting Yasukuni and neither is the PM - they should ! Japanese people have to know that visiting such a shrine is NOT a CRIME.

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Sailwind

As was said, the shrine is now private, not related to the state, so who is there really isn't anybodies business unless they are related to you or you have a personal reason (comrades for example)for going there.

What I might ask you is why you personally want to argue against this shrine, what torch do you carry that leads you to condemn the people of another country from respecting their own dead?

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If they would remove the 14 or so Class-A War Criminals from the shrine, I really wouldn't have a problem with it. Officially, the Emperor Hirohito was not completely responsible for Japan's WWII aggression (although he did offer to take the blame entirely) a point which is debatable and may have had more to do with our interests in setting up occupation and keeping the russkies out of Japan. However, it is also a known fact that the Japanese cabinet ws effectivly under the complete control of the Minister of the Army and Minister of the Navy, therefore it is also readily arguable that the Japanese Govt had been hijacked by the military using the Emperor's name as a justification of their authority. A look at Japanese history shows that most of Japan's Imperial rule has not been with the Emperor but with Military Leaders who ran the country. If it makes sense that the men who fought for the Tokugawa Bakufu against the Imperial Army in the Boshin War are not enshrined in Yasukuni, the very same argument could be made for the Class-A WAr Crimminals, most of whom were high level Military Leaders running WWII Japan.

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Freespeech

"Sanctified under the name of kami, the soldiers become deities in charge of the protection of the Empire. They are no longer human beings, they have become the pillars of the Empire. All enshrined at Yasukuni, they maintain neither rank nor distinctions. Generals ans soldiers alike, they are no longer military personnel, they have turned into as many pillars. It is as pillars of the nation that the Emperor and the people dedicate a cult to them."

"they maintain neither rank nor distinctions. Nor guilt

They are not who or what they were in life. They left the good & the bad of who they were behind when they died, however they died. And that is true of all of them, not just those that don't offend you.

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The ex post facto nature of the Tokyo Trial undermines the legality of the trial for ever. Until August 8, 1945, there had been no crime titled "crime against peace" (class A). The newly contrived crime was applied only to the Japanese leaders at the trial disregarding the preceding Western colonialism/vandalism of the Eastern hemisphere and the re-invasion into East Asian countries by the Netherlands, Britain and France after Japan surrendered. Also the use of the atom bomb (class B/C) by the United States was somehow overlooked signifying the failure of the trial to provide anything other than the opportunity for the victors to retaliate. Is the guilty verdict of class A criminals so overwhelmingly legitimate as to righteously reprove even 63 years after the war the visiting of the shrine by anyone who may or may not want to remember them where their souls (not remains) were enshrined?

I remember a Catholic writer Sono Ayako (and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage commented similarly) saying that it is not up to a human being but God to judge if someone go to Heaven or Hell since human beings cannot be aware of the whole picture of the person's life. If so, how could we be so self-assuredly reprimanding?

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Today he will not lay a reef (wreath?) on the memorial epitaphs

Actually the Emperor, Empress and PM did attend a memorial service for the war dead today and they did pay their respects in a very dignified manner, just not at Yasukuni.

Japanese people have to know that visiting such a shrine is NOT a CRIME.

Actually the Japanese constitution guarantees separation of religion and state -

No religious organization shall receive any privileges from the state or exercise any political authority. No person shall be compelled to take part in any religious acts. The state and its organs shall refrain from religious education or any other religious activity.

-which means that when the pollies visit a Shinto (or any other) shrine in an official capacity, using official transport paid for out of our taxes, they are committing a crime. By the same token ordinary citizens are perfectly at liberty to go where they like and take part in whatever religious activity suits them. Or not, as the case may be.

Sailwind,..... Let's just say this, I can probably debate the crap out of you !

Judging from your efforts on this thread, I would say you had as much chance of holding your own in a debate with Sailwind as you have of winning a 100m breaststroke race when Kitajima is in the pool.

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Here is how the Emperor, Empress and Fukuda celebrated today.

http://mdn.mainichi.jp/national/news/20080815p2a00m0na016000c.html

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They are not who or what they were in life. They left the good & the bad of who they were behind when they died, however they died. And that is true of all of them, not just those that don't offend you.

Trouble is, they died at the end of a noose well after the war. Making them out to be war dead is making them into martyrs.

Had they never been tried and instead died of old age, they never would have been enshrined at Yasukuni, just like every other ex-military survivor of the war.

The ex post facto nature of the Tokyo Trial undermines the legality of the trial for ever.

I absolutely agree. But it changes nothing. Those guys are still scum being martyred. Their hangings were too good for them considering the hell they unleashed across Asia. They deserved no less than Unit 731 treatment, to be turned into maruta, right along with Shiro Ishii who got off scot free.

They sure as heck do not deserve to be honoured the way other ex-military are not.

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Ossan wrote:

"If they would remove the 14 or so Class-A War Criminals from the shrine, I really wouldn't have a problem with it."

Have a lot of you people ever taken the time to think that this controversy should not just be about 14 or so bad guys enshrined at Yasukuni Shrine?

http://www.japanfocus.org/products/details/1967

"In addition to the 28 Class-A criminals, 5,700 people were convicted as Class-B and -C war criminals at courts inside and outside Japan for abusing prisoners of war and murdering civilians. Of the accused, 920 were sentenced to death and executed."

"In 1959, Yasukuni Shrine began to enshrine Class-B and -C criminals, together with the war dead, as martyrs on the basis of a list of names compiled by the Health and Welfare Ministry, which was sent to the shrine in 1966. An association of representatives of worshippers, which had influential ties with the shrine, decided in 1970 to enshrine Class-A war criminals along with the war dead, but the timing of the enshrinement was left up to the chief priest. Matsudaira Nagayoshi, who was inaugurated as chief priest in 1978, confirmed the enshrinement at a meeting of the association and enshrined 14 Class-A war criminals who had been hanged or died in prison."

Nearly 1000 other war criminals were executed for their crimes.

The official number of convicted war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni is 1,068 from my reading.

There is some dispute about the numbers of executed Japanese war criminals because of actions taken by other countries than the U.S.

How about executed sickos now in Yasukuni like General Tachibana and Major Matoba who ordered the execution of downed American pilots on Chichijima and ate some of their body parts?

You guys do not mind if they are honored at Yasukuni, too?

It is just the gang associated with the 14 Class-A war criminals that we should be worried about, huh?

Why not try reading and thinking outside of the usual stories in the mass media about Yasukuni Shrine?

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"You guys do not mind if they are honored at Yasukuni, too?"

No not really. Anyone who has looked into the Tokyo War Crimes trials knows that it really was a Victor's Trial. Hence, there is no end to the number of people you can blame as "crimminals" of varying degrees. In today's day and age, I would say that many of these convictions deserve to be reviewed, an enormous time and resource consuming process. The 14 Class-A crimminals are the ones at the heart of the Shrine controversy and it can be reasonably resolved. Your suggestion is based on princople but ignores the reality of resources and the desire to close this issue, and opens up a whole new can of worms.

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"Anyone who has looked into the Tokyo War Crimes trials knows that it really was a Victor's Trial."

Are you under the impression that everything related to the many thousands of indicted Japanese war criminals was decided in Tokyo and manipulated by the Americans, Ossan? You do know that there were a lot of convicted Japanese executed elsewhere, right? I would hope so.

Simple info that you might get something from:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo_tribunal

"According to Japanese tabulation, 5,700 Japanese individuals were indicted for Class B and Class C war crimes. Of this number, 984 were initially condemned to death; 475 received life sentences; 2,944 were given more limited prison terms; 1,018 were acquitted and 279 were never brought to trial or not sentenced. The number of death sentences by country is the following : Holland 236, Great Britain 223, Australia 153, China 149, USA 140 France 26 and Philippines 17. [6] Additionally, the Soviet Union and Chinese Communist forces held trials for Japanese war criminals."

"5,700 Japanese nationals were charged with Class B and C crimes, mostly over prisoner abuse. The crimes perpetrated by Japanese troops and authorities in the occupation of Korea and China, particularly Manchuria (Manchukuo), were not part of the proceeding. China held 13 tribunals of its own, resulting in 504 convictions and 149 executions."

The numbers jump around, regardless of what sources one uses for a variety of reasons, but the point I am trying to make is that it is not simply the controversy surrounding the enshrinement of the Class A war criminals in Yasukuni Shrine that should be objectionable, but also that there are so many others convicted of atrocities who are enshrined there, too.

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"You do know that there were a lot of convicted Japanese executed elsewhere, right? I would hope so."

Yes I am aware of that. But you fail to realize that the point IS the 14 Class A War Criminals. Until they were enshrined at Yasukuni, this was not an issue. In truth, nobody cared about all other lesser ones, and, perhaps more importantly, nobody excluding yourself cares now either. Are you intereted in resolving this issue? Or expanding it to the point that resolution becomes even more difficult?

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"But you fail to realize that the point IS the 14 Class A War Criminals"

I understand the main issue very well, but there is more to this than what you want to admit. You can pretend that no one other than me cares about the points I am making here, but that is not true.

"Are you intereted in resolving this issue? Or expanding it to the point that resolution becomes even more difficult?"

So sweeping the facts under the rug would be better, huh? It would be better simply to resolve the issues at hand then to squarely face the deeper complexities of the thousands of other war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni Shrine besides the Class A group?

I think it is sad that the great majority of people-Japanese and non-Japanese alike-have been fed a dumbed-down version of the war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni Shrine.

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I really do wish people would stop using Wikipedia as reliable source. Wikipedia may or may not be correct given that it created by anybody that makes the effort to write what they believe is the truth. We can all go on to Wikipedia & write our truth, but that does not make it a reliable source, that makes it very unreliable.

I would imagine Pathat’s quote is probably correct, but I can’t be 100% sure of this so I never use that site except to give me a general direction to go in for more reliable information.

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"I would imagine Pathat’s quote is probably correct, but I can’t be 100% sure of this so I never use that site except to give me a general direction to go in for more reliable information."

Which is why I did not use Wikipedia in my first post with quotes addressing this issue at Ossan, imagawa, and why I also said "the numbers jump around, regardless of what sources one uses for a variety of reasons."

There is a wealth of information on this subject out there-not only on the Internet, but in easily-accessible histories of the World War II era.

To reiterate my main point: There is a much larger issue about war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni Shrine than most people know about, and, I think if they were better informed, it would not be so easy for the sweep-it-under-the-rug faction members like Ossan to get away with their agenda. Keep dumbing it down...it is only 14 bad guys!

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Pathat

You start your reasoning that the war crimes trials were fair, that all the guilty verdicts were just & that only the victor’s views are to be thought of. Looking at 14 war criminals presents enormous complications & an answer will never be found, it can’t be because people always want to go on & on & on fighting a war that ended 63 years ago. You want to increase the numbers now to include all 5,700. surely you would also like to add all those the were killed before anybody got a chance to try them too, were they not also war criminal?

There is no sweeping under the carpet, there is an effort being made to move on, letting history become history, allowing people (not the state) to respect their dead, however they died & no matter what anybody said they were responsible for doing.

What is it you want to do, dig them all up & have them executed again, perhaps it could be done every year on August 15? You have no reason outside your own personal indignation for wanting to increase an already insoluble problem. Is your indignation enough to feed more hate into a world where there is already more than enough to go around? Just what is it YOU want to achieve?

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The crux of the entire issue is the 14 (or however many it really is) memorial tablets enshrined later, as they were never intended to be. I see nothing wrong with any politician paying respects to the war dead, even for political mileage as they certainly wouldn't go without cameras around. No one has commented yet that in fact, the old boy Hirohito himself quit visiting the place on principal which speaks volumes.

Until the memorial tablets are removed this will be a serious problem for Japan for we can be sure the Chinese and others won't forget the rabid, sub-human species known as the Imperial J forces. They were really something these sub primates, bayoneting and lopping heads their way across Asia... And what's more they're still with us aka the dorks in the big trucks.

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imagawa:

"You start your reasoning that the war crimes trials were fair"

No, I did not. I never said any such thing. I know very well that there were a lot of problems with the trials held, both in Tokyo and elsewhere.

"You want to increase the numbers now to include all 5,700."

No, I do not, once again. You are grossly distorting the numbers because you did not take the time to read carefully. We are not talking about all 5,700 Japanese who were indicted as Class B/C war criminals as being enshrined at Yasukuni Shrine. Not by a longshot. Do you know the difference between an "indictment" and a "conviction"?

"Just what is it YOU want to achieve?"

What I have already stated previously. But since you did not read, I will post it again:

"To reiterate my main point: There is a much larger issue about war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni Shrine than most people know about, and, I think if they were better informed, it would not be so easy for the sweep-it-under-the-rug faction members like Ossan to get away with their agenda. Keep dumbing it down...it is only 14 bad guys!"

imagawa wrote:

"You have no reason outside your own personal indignation for wanting to increase an already insoluble problem. Is your indignation enough to feed more hate into a world where there is already more than enough to go around?"

Completely wrong again. I stated many times on related threads on the old JT in years past my belief that the Japanese should have every right to honor the memories of so many who gave their lives for their nation from the beginning of the Meiji Era, through the wars against China and Russia and up to and including the Second World War.

My problems, though, are with some of the people enshrined at Yasukuni Shrine as I have pointed out numerous times already, what Yasukuni Shrine has always stood for-regardless of legal changes in its status brought about by constitutional changes enforced by the Americans, what the people who run Yasukuni Shrine think about the WWII-era as evidenced by their many doings over the years down to the content of the homepage in recent times, the Yushukan Museum and how it depicts history, among other things.

Try again, imagawa.

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BTW, I'm hardly part of any "sweep-it-under-the-rug faction". If I were, I could easily claim that this is an internal issue for he Japanese govt and people to decide, end of story as we wouldn't be discussing this matter. But clearly you and I have different goals, I am seeking a way of resolving an issue for the advancement of peace among the neighboring countries of East Asia, in a realitic feasible way. You on the other and appear to have an agenda which requires the elimination of the Yasukuni Shrine itself which frankly, I don't see happening.

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"Just what is it YOU want to achieve?"

“I think if they were better informed, it would not be so easy for the sweep-it-under-the-rug faction members like Ossan to get away with their agenda. Keep dumbing it down...it is only 14 bad guys!"”

But that is not an answer to what I asked. To what end do you want people better informed?

I am having the usual problem with JT, my page is sliding off to the left & I’m losing the beginning of every line, it is just readable now. If it gets much worse I just wont comment rather than mis-reading what you written.

My thinking is that this whole issue is being used as a stick to beat the whole of the Japanese people with, & it has been for a long time. Your need to enlarge the issue only feeds into this & to what end, do you serious believe that you are going to make the world a better place by showing us how well informed you are & how ignorant we are? Yes, (& I am sure I speak for many others) we knew there were more than 14 war criminals. But there really wasn’t & isn’t a need to enlarge an already mis-used issue.

I have no wish for the issue to be forgotten as a way of protecting any of the bad guys, that has nothing to do with it. To me they are history as they should be & to a large degree are for most of Asia & I do not follow this meaningless new age crxp that says Japan cannot move forward until it comes to terms with it’s past, this is psychobabble that the stick carriers hide behind. Japan has moved on, but some parts of Asia still need for Japan to be the bogyman & they keep it all very alive. What you seem to be doing is helping that. There is never going to be a relaxed state between, for example, China & Japan until issues like this are put to rest & just how do you believe your thinking is helping that, you are feeding the monster & the monster is historical hate. Again, why do you feel a need to make it bigger? Truth is not always that useful & when truth is twisted & used as propaganda as we have seen with the Chinese, why do you feel a need to add to that?

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"Truth is not always that useful & when truth is twisted & used as propaganda as we have seen with the Chinese, why do you feel a need to add to that?"

Huh? Truth is not always that useful? Just run that one by me again.... Since when isn't it 'useful'?

I suppose the recent revelation that Tojo, now a memorial tablet in Tokyo, wanted to ignore the Postdam Declaration (in spite of two atomic bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki) is a part of the "twisted propaganda" you are referring to? Tojo's lunatic granddaughter in Tokyo running for election and to reclaim 'respect' for her grandfather also another part of the same 'twisted propaganda?'

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Fukuda has shown his weakness. He must now be shown the door.

We Japanese demand a leader who will pay proper respect to the war dead.

We Japanese resist attempts by China and South Korea to link Ysukuni with war criminals. The Americans are the war criminals; blame for WW2 lies with the Americans.

We Japanese will vote out the LDP if their Prime Minister is too weak to respect our nation.

Yasukuni is where God lives, and where the truth of WW2 is told. Japan can and must say "NO" to America. Japan must rebuild itself, re-arm and help its Asian brothers in blood once more. America is not going to help with Myanmar. We must take care of the situation.

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kimigano: Thanks for the warning... 'Be prepared'. Always the best motto.

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nutsagain

"I suppose the recent revelation that Tojo,"

No, & don't try to put words in my mouth.

When the "truth" just keeps the hate alive, it is not useful. When the truth is used as a foundation for lies it gives the lies a credibility they shouldn't & wouldn't have without it.

Now, you I am sure will know the truth, so you tell me, are all the reports from China of what Japan did in China true?

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Kimigano

Get real, that line of reasoning is going to get Japan nowhere.

This is the 21st. century.

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"Huh? Truth is not always that useful? Just run that one by me again.... Since when isn't it 'useful'?"

When it's not in your interests to let it be known as it may become a big deal.

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imagawa: Sorry, your logic is hard to follow. "When the 'truth' just keeps hate(red) alive"? I thought it was the collective failure to look at truth that was at the heat of this matter? But seriously, your sentences are so overworked and convoluted I can't figure out what it is you're trying to say? Start again and with simple sentences, please. OssanULTRA; Ditto.

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If I play your silly game I will be deleted, as usual, you know that as well as I. Let us just say that if you cannot understand my logic then there is every chance that you might in fact be in agreement with me, but not realise it. I never overwork what I write becaue I type what I am thinking & if that means that my thinking is convoluted what hope is there of me ever being able to talk to you in a way that you would understand?

Bye bye

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"Let us just say that if you cannot understand my logic then there is every chance that you might in fact be in agreement with me, but not realise it." Nuff said...

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"Start again and with simple sentences, please. OssanULTRA; Ditto."

OK here goes. The Yasukini Shrine became an issue when the 14 Class A-War Criminals were put there. Even the late Emperor Hirohito hasn't gone to the shrine since. I believe (and correct me if I'm wrong) that China never made an issue out of Yasukuni until these Class-A war criminals were moved there. I believe a good argument can be made for their removal, and that would resolve the issue. Pathat I "think" wants to expand this to 5700 war criminals, and he seems to be leaning toward the elimination of the shrine completely which I think is nowhere near as realistic or feasible as my suggestion. And for this I am, according to Pathat "sweeping it under the rug".

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Kimigano - it was such a slow, sluggish morning until I read your words of insight.

Thank you. Now I feel fresh and awake, ready to start the day with a smile a mile wide.

Go Team Yasukuni.

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The contention OssanUltra, is not whether or not they are Class AB&C war criminals. It's the religious and legal differences between Japan and the West over how they treat their war dead. It's a Western convention to draw lines between good/bad soldier, but in Japan a soldier is a soldier, regardless of what was handed down by a foreign court. Japanese interpret law the Japanese way. As an example: When the articles of surrender were signed the Japanese understood this article to mean the complete and unconditional surrender of the Japanese military, not the whole nation of Japan ! (misunderstanding)

When Tojo and those other men died, they died as judicial martyrs, not war criminals(since AB&C designations was borrowed from Nuremburg). The fact that their loved ones/bereaved can recieve pensions on their behalf, even to this day, is confirmation in itself that the Japanese government has never recognized Tojo and the others 14 as war criminals. If according to Japanese law these men were deemed war criminals their families would have never been eligible for pensions ! After Potsdam was accepted Japanese law changed allowing many convicted war criminals(living) to go free. This is called Japanese law, and I'm afraid the international community is not seeing this. The acceptance of Potsdam brought an end to the occupation, not an end to Japanese law !

How newspapers and mainstream media interpret events surrounding Yasukuni and war criminals has very little to do with facts, since the shrine is private. 2 million Japanese support this shrine with their own money.

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yukotojo: Like your nomdeplume and the lunatic grand daughter living in Tokyo, Tojo himself was a complete nutter. I'm reminded of the Monty Python skit with the knight losing limb after limb and wanting to continue the fight. So it was with Tojo. Even after two nukes, the idiot wanted to drag the entire country into a sea of fire and for what? His outrageous stupidity and ego. I cannot verify your data just yet but it sounds a little whacky.

Tojo was never enshrined at Yasukuni but the workers at the crematorium gathered up a few remaining ashes and they are buried under a boulder in the grounds of Yasukuni, which is the same thing as any formal enshrinement of course. An in house secret amongst the staff and the frequent visitors at the cursed place.

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why is it that usually when I hear the words "we Japanese....." a totally ridiculous comment follows. thanks Kimigano

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I see Abe's wearing a jacket and a tie. He must have been sweltering.

Also amazing is how people can't visit a shrine to pay respects to the 2.5 million war dead without being criticized. Oh, that's right, there's 14 convicted war criminals buried there too. Yeah, well, these state ministers aren't going there to pay respect to the 14 war criminals, are they?

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pathat, it seems you either did not read my last post, or it did not sink in. The question of whether some enshrined at Yasukuni are war criminals or not is not good enough by itself. One reason is simply because there is reason to doubt that status. If a soldier died during the war, he deserves some recognition. The question of whether to take away that recognition because of war criminal status could go on and on.

But those hung after the war are not war dead. That fact is supremely important. They are enshrined at Yasukuni for having lived (and died) in service of the emperor. Until their enshrinement is revoked, the government should have nothing to do with Yasukuni, and no serving minister should deign to visit. I do not mind members of the government honouring war dead, but the war criminals hung after the war are not.

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Yukotojo: Your logic on the Tokyo Trials is flawed. Japan accepted the verdict of the Tokyo Trials when the peace treaty with the US was signed and the occupation ended. The fact that Japan paid pensions to war criminal's families simply shows that Japanese politicians ignored the letter and spirit of the peace treaty. Even today, jingoistic talk in the Diet of the Tokyo Trials as "being unfair" or "victor's justice" is countered by sane arguments referring to the reality of the peace treaty and international law. Japan's official government position is that the Tokyo Trials were legal, in accordance with the peace treaty that ended the occupation. The political message of "victor's justice" at Yushukan directly disputes the finality of the peace treaty by promoting the cult of Judge Pal and a "just war" waged by innocent war criminals.

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seansezso wrote:

"pathat, it seems you either did not read my last post, or it did not sink in."

Since when were we communicating on this thread?

"But those hung after the war are not war dead...until their enshrinement is revoked, the government should have nothing to do with Yasukuni...."

I have never said that the Class A war criminals should be enshrined at Yasukuni Shrine. It goes without saying-but I will say it here for clarity-that I am against their enshrinement 30 years ago. All I have tried to do here is draw attention to the fact that there are a lot of other convicted war criminals at Yasukuni Shrine who do not deserve to be honored any more than the Class A gang. Your post to me makes little sense, and it makes me wonder if you made a mistake with the user name you chose for the occasion.

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Since when were we communicating on this thread?

You dont bother to read other posts unless they are directed at you? Not smart.

But perhaps I was unfair to single you out. There is a lot of disagreement and misunderstanding here.

Over one thousand of the people enshrined at Yasukuni are not war dead. They were executed after the war. Contemplate that for a while.

Removing their names would be a simple matter, as they are not war dead. Removing all the alleged war criminals who actually are war dead is a far more sticky matter, and I see no reason to go into it. I feel that is the issue you should focus on. Maybe its what you meant all along? Still, this needs to be stated clearly. All but guaranteed that every nation honouring war dead have a war criminal or two in there. But who mixes war dead and the executed for war crimes? Only Japan as far as I know.

The excuse is that they served the emperor. I wonder how the emperor felt about honoring those who served him so poorly?

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there are a lot of other convicted war criminals at Yasukuni Shrine who do not deserve to be honored any more than the Class A gang.

Point taken. I should have absorbed that better before writing the above.

So we agree. The war dead and the executed should not be mixed.

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seansezso: How would the Emperor have felt? Don't you read? He'd gone on record through his secretary's revelations of his notebooks that he hated the fact that his wishes hadn't been adhered to, and that their remains be interned elsewhere. That revelation was made about two years ago.

So at the time he shuffled up to the microphone and squeaked out 'We must suffer the insufferable, bear the unbearable....' etc., Tojo was lamenting that the war couldn't go on. That's the degree of lunacy we're discussing here. One wonders how little Japan has changed as they still put trust in idiots from the LDP to run affairs, even if the course is straight ahead into financial ruin. In other worlds, the populace has always been 'lead' and never thought much about their lot by themselves.

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"Over one thousand of the people enshrined at Yasukuni are not war dead. They were executed after the war. Contemplate that for a while."

Man, do you read? I said the same things in my early posts on this thread. Why do I need something sounding like an admonishment from you when I have already made it clear that I know the "score"?

"You dont bother to read other posts unless they are directed at you? Not smart."

Not true at all. The reason I said what I did was because you phrased your 11:58 post as if we were having some ongoing debate-i.e. that I had not paid enough attention to something you said and that it did not "sink in."

You need to read carefully and contemplate what others have said before commenting.

"So we agree. The war dead and the executed should not be mixed."

Yes! If I think it is important enough to debate the enshrinement of the executed Class B/C war criminals whose number dwarfs that of the 14 Class A convicts, does it not stand to reason that I believe that none of them should be enshrined at Yasukuni Shrine?

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Man, do you read? I said the same things in my early posts on this thread. Why do I need something sounding like an admonishment from you when I have already made it clear that I know the "score"?

Sorry if I had worded strongly. I simply feel it is wiser to empasize the fact that they are not war dead, rather than emphasize the fact that they are war criminals, as you are doing.

While we are saying much the same thing, it is easy to get sidetracked on issues such as the specific nature of the war crimes and the fairness of the tribunals given your emphasis. Mine nips it all in the bud. They are not war dead. Therefore, they do not deserve to be honoured as such. The fact that they are war criminals only makes it worse.

You need to read carefully and contemplate what others have said before commenting.

Agreed. The old noodle does not seem to be up to speed today. Just take what I say as a suggestion for handling future arguments about this. Focusing on the fact that the convicted war criminals are not war dead and tarnishes the image of the true war dead is something I find more easily agreed upon.

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seansezso: How would the Emperor have felt? Don't you read? He'd gone on record through his secretary's revelations of his notebooks that he hated the fact that his wishes hadn't been adhered to, and that their remains be interned elsewhere. That revelation was made about two years ago.

Glad we got that cleared up nutsagain. That makes the "they are honoured for serving the emperor" excuse as leaky as a sieve.

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the guy Sanada he took a ride on a black van to get to Yasukuni.

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seansezso: We're not that much apart on the issue and I suspect pathat isn't either. Here's some reference on Hirohito's decision to quit visiting Yasukini in as early as 1975

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/21/world/asia/21japan.html

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I have to admit that I find most of what is being written on this subject staggeringly arrogant especially given the degree to which things are twisted to suit an argument, an argument that is in fact none of your business. What pedantic nonsense for a foreigner to draw a line between war dead & war criminal. Let me be as pedantic as others & ask who are the war dead, soldiers at the front line, civilians killed by bombing, including children? I suspect the answer needs to be yes they are part of the war dead, but if we do go that way does that not leave us with a quandary, what about the “war criminals” that died in battle, committed suicide or was killed by bombing? They were never tried so were never convicted of any crime so would you still have them labelled “war criminal”? I suspect many here would label them as such because there seems to be a need to condemn where you have no right to condemn & for reasons you have never examined within yourself. A victor’s court is hardly likely to been seen by the defeated as a court of fair judgement, & that could be said of any defeated country. There is never a balance where war crimes trials are concerned. No war crime trials were ever held in the US, Britain, Australia, China, or where ever against those of their own that committed crimes against the Japanese & it would be childishly naïve to say that no such crimes happened. So, these countries turn a blind eye to those of their own who would justly be classed as war criminals. Why then does any one expect & even demand that Japan accept the judgement of a court that was not of their making, against its own people? We might reason that the actions themselves seen in an international light of right & wrong would be enough, half true, but that does not negate that those actions, legal or not were actions taken by men who believed at that time that they were acting for their country & that makes them both heroes & villains. Given time, hindsight & changing values it is to be expected & hoped that the Japan recognises that these actions were war crimes, but there is no reason why any of this should be retrospective. If you allow yourself that freedom in your effort to condemn the Japanese you leave the door open to be condemned for two atomic bombs & doubtless much more. When I see the day the US, British, Australians, Chinese et al condemn some of their own war dead as war criminals & remove them from war cemeteries then & only then will I see any none Japanese having the right to judge who is & isn’t a Japanese war criminal. This does not mean that I believe that no war crimes took place, to reason that way is total stupidity, yes, horrible crimes were committed, but to bring your criminal justice system to another country & force them to accept it’s judgement can never be acceptable. It was not acceptable when Japan did it in Asia so why was it acceptable when it was done to the Japanese? Reasoning, no country occupied by the Japanese kept the Japanese legal system after they were liberated as was to be accepted, yet it is expected that the Japanese should keep & accept a foreign legal judgements that was forced on them. The crimes of them self are not the issue here, you can tell all the horror stories you like in an effort to give your argument emotive power, but legally there is no reason why any country should keep a legal system that was forced on them by occupation, no other liberated country in the world has ever done so. Think, Chinese condemned & executed under Japanese law had their status changed from criminal to (probably) hero after liberation & this is blindly accepted without question because you all reason that the Japanese were the bad guys. The real question many of you need to ask yourself is why you feel need to be judgemental, what is your motivation in condemning Japan? If you dislike the Japanese then be honest & say that & walk away, but don’t give yourself a right to judge them least you be judged yourself & that you very obvious don’t like. The real question here is not to do with the Japanese or war crimes, it is the motivation of the posters.

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www.sonnojoi.blogspot.com

Too long have the Japanese been condemned and bullied in to submission. The general consensus is turning against foreigners nowadays who speak out against Yasukuni. It is of no business to foreign nationals how a Japanese chooses to worship the war dead. Justice for all, a justice for nobody !!!

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Bravo to all the Ministers who have respect for Japan and it`s war dead! I applaud each and everyone of you!

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The point here is what do people want to achieve? The truth is not always the truth because people will always interpret the 'truth' in different ways and come up with something entirely their own!!

If the Japanese want a more peaceful foreign relationship, don't go to the shrine. If it doesn't bother you to make most of south east asia mad, just keep on going and praying for your dead. But please, DO NOT ask for the cake and expect to eat it as well!!

As for war crimes, I can kind of wave over treating enemy soldiers harshly since they probably killed some of your own men. However, killing civillians is something that I can't. Before anyone starts going over war crimes this and that, anyone that laid their hand on a non-combatant or someone that didn't want to fight back doesn't really have a right to be honoured, not by the family, not by the people, nor by the state!!!

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Then if we are to use that logic every country in the world my not honor their war dead either. Every country has committed some crimes during war. Some more than others that is a fact. To this day many countries have yet to ask forgiveness for those crimes. Even though evidence has been presented to those crimes fact.

While Japan has acknowledged that they did commit crimes during war and it has also done many things to ask forgiveness for those crimes.

Why is the shrine there you may ask? Easy, to ask forgiveness of all those that died for their country be it right or wrong.

War is hell and bad things happen to simple people during those wars. To say that Japan should not honor their dead is wrong. Their dead must be honored, they gave their lives for their country. Not to honor them would be a shame on the people of Japan.

The shrine holds no bodies but all it does have is names. Oh yes I forgot, it also has some blood stained flags and clothing.

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imagawa: "When I see the day the US, British, Australians, Chinese et al condemn some of their own war dead as war criminals & remove them from war cemeteries then & only then will I see any none Japanese having the right to judge who is & isn’t a Japanese war criminal."

Thank you for saying this. While at first I felt slightly enraged by what I perceived the Japanese government officials blatant insult to Asian nations, I was forced to take it into perspective. Every nation has at one point or other committed unspeakable atrocities. It is in our best interest not to forget them. So when I, as an American, visit a north civil war shrine, I am saying I agree with Sherman? Or when a member of the Apache tribe honors his past, his heritage, is he saying that he honors the way in which homosexuals were treated? By placing them in the desert, tied down with wet leather. As the leather dried out and contracted….well I don’t need to go into the rest. Many societies have participated in extremely violent and extreme actions towards others. Japan is not the exception.

The rape of Nanking was horrific, the death marches were psychotic; I do not disagree with these claims. However, as a recent soldier myself, I can attest to the fact that war has a strange affect on the mind. It is a different type of human that has to fight a war. A common foot soldier can’t view enemies as humans, but monsters. If not, hesitation….and death. How can training and fighting in these ways lead to sane actions?

To me this shrine is there to honor the war dead, those that died as a result to the war. Those that lost their sanity lost the morals in service to a nation. Those who willingly or unwillingly sacrificed their bodies and mind deserve at least some rest in the grave. The Shrine can mean different things to different people. Since I have no family there (well maybe I should ask my wife), it is to me, a place to honor humans who lost their lives in service. War dead are war dead. Atrocities committed, or not, and a nation has the right to honor them. Those that were directly affected by the actions have the right to protest. It’s the way of life. To me this is a non issue. How can you tell some one that witnessed Nanking to, “stay our of our nations business, at the same time how can you tell a Japanese patriot to not honor his nations past? To ask forgiveness of those who fought in wars past?

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yes you are right, all countries have commited atrocities and I dislike all soldiers and those who pile honor and respect on them equally.

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I have to admit that I find most of what is being written on this subject staggeringly arrogant

really?

Anyway, Who has sat across from a Sanada on a train in this country and endured the hateful glare? This country will be a far better place when old guys like this full of hate and resentment pass on. "Yoshimitsu Sanada, 75, admonished the prime minister for not making a Yasukuni pilgrimage for Aug. 15 a day that every year draws crowds of veterans, their relatives, tourists and militarists to the shrine.

“He’s stupid,” Sanada said of Fukuda. “He’s a Chinese servant.”

Sanada, who wore an old army uniform and carried a sword, said his uncle died in Saipan during World War II."

When the more powerful 'Sanadas' of this world have passed on and less bitter more rational people pull the strings, lets hope that a resolution to the yasukuni issue can be resolved with Korea and China. The 'Sanada' types have no ability to suck up the pride and reach a comprimise, lets hope the newer generation can.

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well said flammenwerfer. come across this kind of hate-filled oyaji every now and then. actually quite enjoy the evil glares and their discomfort at having to actually look at a foreigner in their hometown, the cheek of it!

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True, there's no country free from war crimes, not a single one. The question isn't one of parity, rather excess. And excess is what the Japanese Imperial forces excelled at. Bayonet practice on decapitated heads, pregnant women singled out for bayoneting, the sheer savagery of their rabid excesses is what the word can't forget... Nor forgive until Japan comes clean which is unlikely of course. So we'll see everyone again when the next Yasukuni forum comes around.

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Imagawa: Japan accepted the verdict of the Tokyo Trials when a peace treaty with the US and Allied Powers ended the occupation. If you believe the verdict of the Tokyo Trials should be repealed, spend your time convincing the Diet and Japanese people that Japan should revoke the peace treaty ending WWII. Otherwise, get over it. Japan lost the war and agreed to the consequences of occupation, including trials for war criminals, spelled out in the Potsdam Declaration. Acceptance of war criminals resulting from the proceedings of the Tokyo Trials is a central part of the Peace Treaty. It is sad to see a few influential elites in Japan continue to politicize the hollowed grounds where Japan's war dead are enshrined. Rest in peace, indeed.

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What we, Japanese civilians need to know that Japan accepted the unconditional surrender in 1945, and it was necessary not for the U.S. but for Japan to stop the atrocious war. On the other hand, the U.S. also committed a serious war crime, because they slaughtered nearly 250,000 civlians by the "new weapon". It can be named the "Hiroshima-Nagasaki Massacre". So, yes, every party committed serious war crimes. However, this doesn't justify the serious errors and crimes that the Japanese government did during the war. The government left many their own soldiers in the lurch. The government did not tell the people of the real facts in the war. The government abused her own civilians and soldiers. The government told lies to the peoples in the colonized countries, by not guaranteeing the equality of rights. Japanese people were a partner in the war crime, but also one of the victims of the crime by the Japanese political leaders. This situation makes things difficult and complicated. I can understand those who want to pray at the shrine. But, historically speaking, supporting the right-wing politicians praying at the shrine will mislead the people in the world. Also, it will be a betrayal to the Japanese soldiers and people abused and killed. Unlike their "conservative" political slogans, LDP politicians have destroyed the traditional culture of Japan by converting cities and towns to concrete jungles. What they want to conserve is their power and its status quo, and the fictional glory of the past heroes.

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Tokyo VP,

Japan did not accept the verdict handed down by the IMTF, that's why many war criminals were set free ! Shumei Okawa was set free before the Tokyo Trials ever began, and he was considered the genius behind Nanking ! Accepted...? Recognized that it was foreign and that's it ! The Diet only played up to McArthur.

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yukotojo: Can you select and play another track on your record? You've labored aka cut and pasted the same point three times now. Good for a laugh but not much else? Yawn...

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Imagawa wrote:

The real question many of you need to ask yourself is why you feel need to be judgemental, what is your motivation in condemning Japan? If you dislike the Japanese then be honest & say that & walk away, but don’t give yourself a right to judge them least you be judged yourself & that you very obvious don’t like. The real question here is not to do with the Japanese or war crimes, it is the motivation of the posters.

I despise war criminals no matter their origins. The topic just happens to be these Japanese ones. I also despise war in general. I want no credence given to war criminals nor war, nor do I want them glorified. However, I accept the honouring of war dead because they remind us all of what happens when war breaks out, and that is that a lot of people get dead.

Those hung for war crimes however deserve no respect nor honouring. They should be remembered for the sake of detering war and those who would start them.

In short, I am critical because I don't want Japan to revert to past militaristic ways, I want them to retain their pacifist image for their own sake and as an example to the world.

And let us make one thing absolutely clear. To criticize Yasukuni is not to criticize Japan. Japan is not agreement about Yasukuni, no matter what the government and its ministers do or say.

an argument that is in fact none of your business.

I have to take issue with this too. Japan's image is on the line, and us foreigners are excellent advisors on how this issue affects Japan's image.

And if we are going to talk about what is and what is not someone's business, need I remind you that it was those men who rampaged across Asia and with the Allies that crossed that line first? The Allies had to come over here and stomp Japan to get them to stop and get to those responsible. It most certainly is our business if they start worshipping them again, at least as far as discussions of the topic go.

And last, peace and maintaining peace is the obligation of every human being on the planet. If start saying that matters which trigger and foster wars are internal business only, we will pay with a lot more wars. Every human on the planet deserves a say about this.

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To those of you who remain bitter about events that transpired during Japan's period as an emasculated subject of the US military from 1945-52: be very thankful that it was "victor's justice" and NOT "victim's justice" that was imposed on Japan. You should shudder at the thought of what verdicts Chinese and Korean judges would have passed on Japan had their respective nations not been too enfeebled to do so (think of Mussolini being hanged by a mob in April 1945 and imagine the same thing being done to Emperor Hirohito a few months later). Really, Japan was saved from a much crueler fate by America's decision to come in and essentially take over the whole show.

Yasukuni Shrine is an interesting place and should be visited on August 15 if possible.

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What a truly sad state of affairs... Japan has to be walloped with a big stick every time it gets out of line with its inner craving for cultural uniqueness, therefore exemption from common sense. The yukotojos of this world will always be around craving the old days. One wonders if this person is just a foreigner baiting the forum, really the daughter of Japan's most spectacular lunatic, for he was totaly bonkers, or just a lonely rightist with not much else to do? Either way, she's wide of the mark and out of step with both reality and the world. Dream on babe....

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I do not in any way support what the Japanese imperial army was or what it did, I make no excuses for them because none can be made.

But when I look at the histories of other countries, those in Europe & the US, these countries were to a greater or lesser degree & in some ways still are colonial powers & for one period in history Japan joined their club, even though that club didn’t want her to. Think about it, only once did Japan try to be a colonial power & for that she has never been forgiven.

I know all the usual reasons given for this, but I really do still feel that there is an element missing, one which is not so easy to find even in ourselves. Germany has been forgiven for what it did in Europe & Russia, Holland for its “ownership” in South East Asia & parts of Africa, France in Asia & North Africa & the British for almost everywhere. The Americans are still in occupation of most of the places they took, aped & hated in equal measure. But Japan fought, won & then lost 63 years ago & is still condemned. In Vietnam the Americans, Australians & British are accepted again, but much less so the Japanese.

I am not sure, & I will not say that I could be even 70% sure, but I really do feel that if the Japanese hadn’t been Orientals they would have been forgiven a long time ago. Somewhere deep down they are not treated in the same way, not even by other Orientals.

Aside from Tokugawa Ieyasu & his mad little attacks against Korea Japan has only once left its shores to fight a war, granted it was a big war. And for the last 63 years they have been a pacifist country & yet they still face constant condemnation.

And the rest of the colonial powers? They may operate differently these days, but they do still operate, & maybe they have not been totally forgiven, but they certainly don’t face the condemnation that Japan does.

But then they are white & that just might make a difference. I think it does.

What about the war dead from all these colonial wars, the white ones that is. Do any of us give even a second thought to the commemorative monuments we have all seen in the various home countries?

I don’t know, but at least I am asking myself if there is something here we don’t really ever look at in ourselves.

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imagawa, thankyou for your post, I think you are not far off. I'm not so sure you can expect forgiveness from your victims as I don't think most colonial powers have been forgiven that way. If your point was more forgiveness or forgetfulness by the rest of the developed world I think you are right. There is some sort of racial component to it especially from the old colonizers. I would bet that the majority of people on here bleating about Japan not having atoned for its sins are Europeans. Americans as a general rule don't feel this way maybe because we dealt the final blows to Japan at the end of the war and consider the matter finished. Certainly at the time of the war Western powers didn't like the idea of Japan getting too powerful and threatening their own colonies. The world is still paying a price for European colonialism and no one ever seems to mention it. One only need look to failed states like Burma to see the lasting effects. I for one as said before believe that the Japanese can honor their war dead however they like and that includes those branded as war criminals. The Tokyo trials were as others have said victors justice so I don't put much stock in it. The worst of it is that we let some of the true criminals and monsters like Ishii go in exchange for their research and knowledge. War as a whole is a crime against humanity, remember the sins of the past and try not to repeat them.

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USAExpat.

Thank you, I have to admit I was expecting to get Burned. I agree with you about the legacy that seems to hang over many of the ex-colonies. But without being able to put my finger on it there seems a greater shadow that hangs over a how Asia sees it’s own history, maybe the political inter play that went on between China & the west while China was still closed provides the fuel, there seems almost to be a waiting game being played. Nobody is giving because they are expecting something to happen “tomorrow” & this is not a road that will lead to a future peace. These little nagging details about who does & who doesn’t visit a shine seem almost the surface tensions of something greater, though stating it that way sounds almost paranoid, though that is not really the way I mean it & that is the problem. It isn’t something so tangible that a black & white argument can be built on it.

The race idea I was talking about in my earlier post stems from the league of nations conference when Japan put forward the idea of all men being equal & the conference rejected it. They were not white & as such they were seen to be asking for something that they were not in the white mans eyes entitled to. That I think pushed Japan into a limbo between not being accepted by the west while not seeing themselves as being a part of Asia. From that seed grows much more than we today might be willing to accept. Rightly or wrongly Japan believed herself to be part of the western block & yet that block rejected her, the mentality born out of that rejection is what I believe gave strength to a militarist doctrine that had no external controls.

I also feel that that basic racism still lingers in the west, I read it everyday on this site, it may be hidden behind care for a peaceful world & a peaceful Japan in that world, but there is a relentless attack against all things Japanese here that has roots that few here ever hold a mirror to. And it is that lack of substance that I so often try to draw out when I post. I want to know why a person in their 20s or 30s can feel such anger against Japan for a war that ended 63 years ago, they will of course find “reasons”, but I don’t want reasons, I would ask them to find a truth within themselves.

And will we ever see such on this site? I doubt it

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usaexpat/imagawa: Both excellent, intelligent and balanced posts. And I agree with you save one point. It seems to me at least that the core issue of as you say, the Europeans resentment of Japan's position rests not with victor or conquered but moreover Japan's total failure to look at the barbarism of its troops. This has to be looked at for any development as a nation. Barbarity that would make even some Roman conquests look mild and the Romans knew all about barbarism.

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only once did Japan try to be a colonial power & for that she has never been forgiven.

saying sorry works wonders (apparently analogies are over the head of some...so I'll keep it simple for the dolly dimple mod)

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imagawa, your comments contain several inaccuracies:

"Aside from Tokugawa Ieyasu & his mad little attacks against Korea Japan has only once left its shores to fight a war, granted it was a big war."

It was Toyotomi Hideoyoshi who initiated those attacks against Korea, and they weren't little. Japan laid waste to its neighbor, and it took Korea decades to recover. And Japan left its shores multiple times (against China in 1894, against Russia in 1904, against Germany in 1914, against the USSR in 1918, etc.) to fight wars in modern times before the really big one started in 1931.

"The race idea I was talking about in my earlier post stems from the league of nations conference when Japan put forward the idea of all men being equal & the conference rejected it."

Japan did not believe in the idea of all men being equal back in 1919 during the Versailles (not League) Conference; at that very moment Japanese soldiers were bayoneting pro-independence demonstrators in Korea. What Japan wanted was for the Western powers to acknowledge that Japan was their equal. Japan certainly did not believe at that time that Koreans, Chinese, etc. were their equals. This is a common misconception about the Japanese "racial equality" proposal at Versailles.

Why the antagonism towards Japan? I suppose there is something particularly repulsive about "howling with the wolves", which is what Japan, as a sovereign nation, chose to do in the period from 1868-1945. So it may not be simply a matter of racism towards Orientals.

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"Aside from Tokugawa Ieyasu & his mad little attacks against Korea Japan has only once left its shores to fight a war, granted it was a big war."

Overlooked that one completely... You're right it's nonsense. Japan saw it as some sort of misguided duty to subdue the unruly Koreans for years. But it's the way they bayoneted and baby-stomped their way across Asia the is the bone in the throat for Europeans. Made worse by the failure to look at the issue much less apologize for it.

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Fukuda’s pointed refusal to visit Yasukuni is part of an outreach to mend fences with Japan’s Asian neighbors.

Then why is he letting the Japanese ministry of education teach the kids that Korea's Dokdo is Japan's? That only damaged the fence between Japan and Korea, not help mend it. On another note, however, although I'm a Korean, I can sort of sympathize with his self-imposed avoidance of visiting the war shrine to pay his homage as the top Japanese official. In fact, I don't think that the U.S., Russia, or Western Europe would be too happy to see him visit the site, either - not just Japan's Asian neighbors.

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Yukotojo;

"The contention OssanUltra, is not whether or not they are Class AB&C war criminals. It's the religious and legal differences between Japan and the West over how they treat their war dead. It's a Western convention to draw lines between good/bad soldier, but in Japan a soldier is a soldier, regardless of what was handed down by a foreign court."

Disagree. The Yasukuni Shrine honors those soldiers who fought for the Emperor. And the the soldiers of the Tokugawa Shogunate who fought against the Emperor in the Boshin War are not enshrined there, while those who fought for the Imperial Govt are. Clearly there is a distinction being made equivalent to good soldier/bad soldier.

Furthermore, the Emperor Hirohito refused to visit the Shrine after the 14 Class A War Criminals were moved there. If the true instgators were those convicted war criminals, and not the Emperor, then these men fought AGAINST the Emperor simply usurping his name to lead the country. Not so different from most of Japanese history where powerful ewarlords lead the country with simply a "nod of approval" from the Emperor in Kyoto is it? If so, there is sufficient ground not to keep the 14 Class A War Crminals at the Yasukuni Shrine.

"When Tojo and those other men died, they died as judicial martyrs, not war criminals(since AB&C designations was borrowed from Nuremburg). The fact that their loved ones/bereaved can recieve pensions on their behalf, even to this day, is confirmation in itself that the Japanese government has never recognized Tojo and the others 14 as war criminals."

Disagree. Those men were members of the Imperial Armed Forces until their death and the fact that they were charged and convicted by the Allies is irrelevant to their status and service. Hence it is only natural that any pensions due to surving family should apply.

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nutsagain, You are correct about the Japanese refusal to look at the barbarism of the IJA during WWII. I guess the thing that was in my mind when I was replying to imagawa was why are the Russians treated so differntly? Stalin certainly had nearly as much blood on his hands and yet no one criticizes Russia for its brutal expansion during and post WWII. There is still something more to the Japanese condemnation than the actions they committed alone. The Germans are said to have atoned for and faced their past much more than Japan but having many German friends and having spent time in Germany I wouldn't agree. Maybe the government did a better job looking remorseful than the Japanese did? Because Willie Brandt cried in front of a monument and they paid some money they are off the hook? People make excuses that the average German didn't know what was going on etc. etc. and I argue the average Japanese didn't either. It was avery dark time in history and if the Chinese or Koreans want to hold a grudge or protest when Japanese politicians visit Yaskune I can understand why. My problem is more with the constant anti-Japan drone that we hear from some posters here. Again as I said in my previous post I think most Americans consider the issue closed and harbor no ill feelings towards the Japanese (or the Germans for that matter just had draw some paralells)

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