politics

168 lawmakers visit Yasukuni shrine

73 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2013 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

73 Comments
Login to comment

When it rains it pours!

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Let it go. "Keep growing, keep learning, and keep changing." Enjoy the""Koinobori" and understand that nobody can change the past. Mistakes are made and eventually forgotten, but sacrifice for whatever reason is remembered because nobody can be returned. It will require the total destruction of the universe before a single entity can return.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

What a bunch of shallow-thinking oafs. They think they are all jumping on the vote-catching bandwagon of the renewed feelings of Japanese self-assertion after the popularity of PM Abe. Most of this lot have never been near Yasukuni in their lives before.

5 ( +16 / -11 )

Oh God, here we go again.

Cue the cries of rising Japanese nationalism and refusal to address past wrongs...blah, blah, blah.

zzzz.....

3 ( +17 / -13 )

Did they go to the secret room that is off limits to the public and see the list of Class A War Criminals and bow their respects to them? If so, they are bringing back Imperial Japan! That is why Japan can never be trusted with these polticians running the country!

0 ( +14 / -15 )

"Only by facing up to and repenting for its history of aggression can Japan create the future, and truly develop friendly and cooperative relations with its neighbors," Hua said.

Relations between Japan and China were poor even before the First Sino-Japanese War. In fact they hit a low point in 1274 and have been pretty bad ever since.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

These people have to understand that these lawmakers aren't going to the shrine for the 14 war criminals. They're there for the other 2.5 million people who died.

There are two possible reasons for the brouhaha. One reason might be ignorance of the shinto faith. The kami isn't something that can be handled. The kami at this shrine is a mixture of the 2.5 million plus 14, all combined. It is impossible to sort the kami out and therefore remove the bad ones from the shrine. That's basically what the Chinese and Koreans are asking for, which again shows a sign of ignorance for the faith. 14 bad apples will not prevent the Japanese government from recognizing the millions of other war dead.

The other possible reason is what I like to call "the joy of hate." The Chinese and Koreans do absolutely nothing - NOTHING to prevent conflict. All they do is bicker and whine. I don't blame the Japanese government for apologizing. I think even if the government did, it would not change things between these governments. They would receive the apology, but then go on further with the bickering and whining, and there's nothing that would make them happy. Actually, the bickering and whining does in fact make them happy, hence "the joy of hate."

1 ( +15 / -13 )

“Only by facing up to and repenting for its history of aggression can Japan create the future, and truly develop friendly and cooperative relations with its neighbors.”

What a hypocrite! This is proof that Chinese always lie and tell it a thousand times until when the lie Becomes true.

-3 ( +10 / -11 )

Beijing also protested against the weekend visits on Monday, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying telling reporters that Japan must atone for its past behavior.

Gee, I wonder how many Chinese politicians visit mass murderer Mao's tomb every year and no one says squat?

They try and make hay out of the silliest things.

3 ( +14 / -10 )

So today it's Korean and China against Japan. Tomorrow it will probably be Japan and Korea against China. Or maybe Taiwan against Korea. It's just never ending pettiness.

2 ( +5 / -2 )

One thing I can say about Germany: they don't censor the past. They acknowledge & have apologized for the atrocities committed by their government.

In Japan, not so much. They don't teach of the atrocities committed. However, talk to some of the Filipinos who have heard stories form their parents, or grandparents regarding the less-than human treatment, rapes & beheadings committed during WWII & it will open your eyes.

It's one thing to invade & take over a country, but to treat its citizens as slaves & lesser beings, forbid them to speak their native tongue & hack their citizens to pieces, hanging their severed limbs from trees, is totally uncalled for & completely barbaric.

Same goes for the atrocities committed by the Nazis; imprisoning, working & starving people to death, forcing people into gas chambers, putting them in ovens & cremating them, shooting them for fun, raping them; all uncalled for & completely barbaric.

For those actions, any government that condoned such behaviors should apologize.

12 ( +19 / -8 )

If you go to Yasukuni shrine or not whatever Japanese Politicians do Chinese Government and Korean Government will find another fault for sake of their domestic political gain. All Japaneses politicians should visit to Yasukuni shrine for pay their respect as Japanese traditional. There are only 14 war crimes out of 2.5 millions of civilians were honored at Yasukuni shrine. Why Communist Chinese Government and Korean Government do not ask to remove 14 war crimes name from Yasukuni shrine to other place if they sincerely want to resolve this matter? Actually both countries' Government wants Japanese politicians to visit Yasukuni shrine annually because they can benefit from that. Anytime their popularity fades away and then they can use it for their political gain. Korean and Communist Chinese Government will still complain Japanese civilians who visited Yasukuni shrine as glorifying WWII event even if Politicians do not visit to Yasukuni shrine Japanese Government has been softening on Yasukuni shrine issue with Communist China and Korean. It’s now time to tough with Communist Chinese Government and Korean Government because both Governments do not have sincerely with Politicians visiting to Yasukuni shrine issue. Both Communist Chinese Government and Korean Government are manipulating political environment in their country at costs of deceased of WWII civilian victims. Both Communist Chinese leaders and Korean leaders need to respect Japanese civilians of WWII victims. PM Abe must visit to Yasukuni Shrine for to pay respect to victim of WWII.

-4 ( +9 / -14 )

One thing I can say about Germany: they don't censor the past. They acknowledge & have apologized for the atrocities committed by their government.

Get with the program Mark. The Japanese have apologized so many times that there is a Wiki page devoted to the catalogue of apologies tendered. Each time the Koreans and the communists say "thank you very much", pocket the cash that Japan offers and promptly dredge up the past again the next time things don't go their way.

Visiting a shrine in no way nullifies the apologies or the cash that the communists and the Koreans used to raise their countries up from third world standards. For all anyone knows (since nobody can see into the minds of these 168 lawmakers) they are all praying that peace prevail and that never again will Japan find its citizens on trial for crimes against humanity.

No more apologies and no more compensation. Visits to shrines as often as they like for whoever feels so moved.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

Both Communist Chinese leaders and Korean leaders need to respect Japanese civilians of WWII victims. PM Abe must visit to Yasukuni Shrine for to pay respect to victim of WWII.

Japanese politicians need to respect ALL foreign victims- Korean, Chinese, Filipino, American, British - of Japan's aggression. The actions of Japan caused suffering of their own civilian populace, including those of Japanese-americans. It's time for inclusion at Yasukuni of a foreigners' memorial to respect all civilian victims of Japanese atrocities.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

As Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says, sure enough, the Japanese constitution (Article 20th) ensures the freedom of faith to the nation. But visiting Yasukuni Shrine by cabinet ministers and lawmakers has nothing to do with the freedom of faith. Those 168 lawmakers who visited the shrine today, plus two cabinet ministers who visited yesterday, are composed of people of all faiths -- Buddhists, Christians, Shintoists and what not.

How can they pay visit to the war shrine when neighboring countries that experienced brutal occupation by Imperial Japan say the shrine symbolizes Japan's military past and that Japan needs contrition above anything else? Suga should answer this question first before obfuscating the lawmakers' action as a matter of faith.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

And tomorrow they'll be flabbergasted by the Chinese flotilla that goes near the disputed isles.

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

hidingout: "The Japanese have apologized so many times that there is a Wiki page devoted to the catalogue of apologies tendered."

An just how many have been sincere? And why is Abe trying to rescind these apologies you boast of?

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

Most countries that have been involved with conflicts over history, still have a dedicated day to remember all those who died in those conflicts out of respect to both civilian and military who lost their lives. This political move by the Japanese politicians, they don't do it out of respect but only to court controversy with their neighbours.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Is this really necessary? All the East Asian countries are like little children, each trying to see how it can best annoy the others.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

PM Abe must visit to Yasukuni Shrine for to pay respect to victim of WWII

There wouldn't have been any war dead if they hadn't fancied expanding their empire over Asia. They militaristic government started the Pacific war, yet paint themselves as victims.

0 ( +9 / -8 )

An (sic) just how many have been sincere?

All of them - as evidenced by the boat loads of cash they handed over and the impeccable record of peaceful co-existence Japan has maintained since the end of WWII . Next question.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

I'm prepared for thumbs downs, but one perspective is always overlooked: The 14 war criminals whose names are on the Yasukuni list have all completed their sentences, either by execution or prison terms, a long time ago. There are no statues of them. So, they're not being "honored" per se. Shinto's "cleansing" of their spirits is not forgiveness of their crimes.

Yasukuni was built in the Meiji Era to honor the dead from the Boshin War. So, it's not just from WWII, as many people seem to have been lead to believe.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

hidingout: "All of them"

It was a rhetorical question, as NONE (save perhaps one, that is being rescinded) have. Money is not an apology for atrocity, nor is it a means for white-washing history.

"Next question"

Given you couldn't be bothered to answer the rest, why ask? But heck, I'll do it just to humor you: "And why is Abe trying to rescind these apologies you boast of?"

Try not to avoid it this time.

-7 ( +8 / -14 )

These guys were running on their political fund raising campaign! Pity their miserables under the weired Japanese political system!

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

And tomorrow they'll be flabbergasted by the Chinese flotilla that goes near the disputed isles.

No, the flotillas have been there long before this happened. In fact, I think you'll find that Chinese hegemony might be responsible for surges of this kind of behaviour and sentiment from the Japanese. I'd say the two are directly related.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Japan is alike German 1920s that the gross poupulations the great war was defeated has nothing to do with their servicemen conducts but "stab in the back" theory which advocating people the war could be won! Japan wants to revenge China for their dead soldiers and they were gear up to cause an all out war! I want to repeat : japan has blamed China for her 'Stab in the back' lead to her defeated in WW2 and she wants Revenge China regardless of how much compassion Chinese has granted since 1945! The fault is Japan didnt want peace but revenge which leave Chinese people has no choice but pick up a fight! Who is causing tall he troubles , all of you tell me , please?

-2 ( +7 / -8 )

Who is causing tall he troubles , all of you tell me , please?

Clearly, China.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

It was a rhetorical question, as NONE (save perhaps one, that is being rescinded) have.

Ahh ... the all seeing Smith who can look into the hearts and minds of men and see what is contained therein.

Money is not an apology for atrocity, nor is it a means for white-washing history.

Of course it isn't. That's why our modern court system doesn't allow for things like punitive damages and financial compensation for losses. Silly me.

Given you couldn't be bothered to answer the rest, why ask? But heck, I'll do it just to humor you: "And why is Abe trying to rescind these apologies you boast of?"

I wasn't ignoring it. The question is ridiculous since I don't presume to speak for the Japanese Government. But since you asked twice ( and I know you have evidence to back up your claim that Mr Abe is working hard to rescind these apologies) let me hazard a guess.

There are probably factions within the Japanese Government who tire of the little games being played by the communists and the Koreans. Perhaps in the minds of these (admittedly right of center) politicians decades of blatant "we spit on your apologies" comments (from the communists, Koreans and their sympathizers such as yourself) have destroyed the climate under which an apology can achieve its intended function.

While I don't personally feel that apologies already given can or should be rescinded, given the climate created by the apology deniers perhaps it is best to set aside the issue and hope that future generations of Chinese can escape the shackles of their corrupt communist leadership and tear away the blindfold of propaganda. When that day comes - and make no mistake it will come - maybe Japan will be able to discuss the issue with a neighbor who is capable of sane conversation.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Some people commented visiting this shrine is a campaign to gain popularity but I don't think so. I think the way Japanese people think is like "we don't care about this shrine but since it seems to cause troubles, leave it alone" In 2009, Democratic Party of Japan said in advance that they wouldn't be visiting shrine but they won the election anyway. I don't think it changes popularity.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The communists in the PRC have nothing to be ashamed of, so yes, bow before them and stop remembering 2.5 million deceased compatriots. Just take a pill and forget them. Yup.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The annual trip to the Yasukuni shrine, which usually draws a far smaller number of legislators...

Then there are two hypothesis: 1) Devotion has raised in the politicians and Japanese society or 2) Plain and simple provocation by the new legislators.

Everyone to make its own opinion.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Gee, I wonder how many Chinese politicians visit mass murderer Mao's tomb every year and no one says squat?

So two bads are okay? No one here is agreeing that they should visit Mao's tomb are they?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Poor country... worst then ever, no sign of diappointment by the japanese people... It is like if Germany enshrined Hitler in a church and all the goverment goes alltogether to offer prayers every year...

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@Bryan Villados @Jeff Ogrisseg @Kobuta Chan

I like to hear from you about the need for secrecy in the Shrine. Why don't the priests allow all parts of the Shrine be opened to the public so we can video every moves by the politicians? I understand the 14 Class A Criminals are in the list among the millions of war dead heroes.Do they get a special bow by the 168 public servants representing the Japanese Government? If they do, and is done in secret, this raises the spectre of Imperial Japan sneaking back ever so stealthily. ( I promise you Tojo, I'll continue your mission, help us to rewrite the Constitution to remilitarise!)

One more thing: What is in their hearts when the 168 lawmakers visited the Shrine? When they pay homage to the war dead, DO THEY MAKE A SPECIAL APPEAL TO TOJO AND HIS GANG TO RAISE IMPERIAL JAPAN AGAIN EVEN IF THEY DON'T VISIT THE SECRET ROOM?

Perhaps you can comment why the Supremo Emperor of Japan, within walking distance don't visit the Shrine. These politicians are making the Emperor looks weak!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

So two bads are okay? No one here is agreeing that they should visit Mao's tomb are they?

No. Neither are good or bad. It's an internal matter.

As I have alluded to in another related article, Japanese PM have visited Yasukuni 21 times after the enshrinement of Class A war criminals without a single complaint from China or Korea. Now they created a new standard for themselves where it's the regular lawmakers can't visit Yasukuni. In other words, if not Yasukuni, they'll create another "card" against Japan.

I think it's apparent that the current cabinet really doesn't care what China or Korea thinks anymore for simply ignoring them is much more beneficial.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

So today it's Korean and China against Japan. Tomorrow it will probably be Japan and Korea against China. Or maybe Taiwan against Korea. It's just never ending pettiness.

dag...if you go that far...whay not the U.S. against all of Asia then. maybe that's what the Asia Pivot strategy is designed for.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@Bryan VilladosApr. 23, 2013 - 01:34PM JST

These people have to understand that these lawmakers aren't going to the shrine for the 14 war criminals. They're there for the other 2.5 million people who died.

There are two possible reasons for the brouhaha. One reason might be ignorance of the shinto faith. The kami isn't something that can be handled. The kami at this shrine is a mixture of the 2.5 million plus 14, all combined. It is impossible to sort the kami out and therefore remove the bad ones from the shrine. That's basically what the Chinese and Koreans are asking for, which again shows a sign of ignorance for the faith. 14 bad apples will not prevent the Japanese government from recognizing the millions of other war dead

I submit that the Japanese Government PURPOSELY COMINGLE the 14 Class A War Criminals with the other millions of dead Japanese. They can EASILY put their names in the SEPARATE Shrine where their ashes are kept, so WHY do they need to poke China and Korea in their eyes with this Shrine visit? I DARE THEM to visit the other shrine where the ashes are kept, KEEP THEIR NAMES THERE, problem solved! But no, Japan must do it in her own unique way (INTENTIONAL) to poison the atmosphere, so who is to blame?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Is this really necessary? All the East Asian countries are like little children, each trying to see how it can best annoy the others.

all part of the grand strategy of uncle sam. political tension and military conflict or threat of conflict is very good business for weapons manufacturers...and the U.S. is by far the biggest exporter of killing machines.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I like to hear from you about the need for secrecy in the Shrine

Secrecy? Anybody can register and go into the hall.

http://www.yasukuni.or.jp/guide/manner.html

To simplify, register, pay, wash your hands, go to the hall, take your tamagushi, http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E7%8E%89%E4%B8%B2 , and bow twice, clap twice, and bow once. The end.

Shoudensanpai is practiced in Jinjya's including Yasukuni. Nothing special. Perhaps educating yourself might help.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

smithinjapan: "And why is Abe trying to rescind these apologies you boast of?"

He isn't trying to "rescind" anything. He made the comment that he - like nearly every other PM since the end of the war - was planning on releasing an updated statement, something that has not occurred yet.

Despite not having seen the statement, and despite having absolutely no indication of what might be in it IF it ever actually comes to pass, you have at every opportunity proclaimed that the statement will rescind, delete, take back, nullify, whitewash or otherwise render invalid every statement that came before. That's a fact, and anyone who wants to search on your username will see it - and your reactions to being called out on it.

So, as you're asking questions, here's one for you: Why do you persist in repeating something that only exists in your imagination as though it were a fact?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The commentor who likened the 14 war criminals at Yasukuni to Hitler is spot on. 14 Japanese Hitlers are enshrined there and that is the only reason South Korea (who should be an ally of Japan as another democracy) and China are against the visits.

Though Japan did invest in South Korea and China, as Smith said, they didn't do it merely to atone but as an investment. What Japan should do and is the only way for everlasting peace is to be like Germany and embrace the atrocities they committed in WW2. Look at Germany's relations now with its neighbors: it is a leader to the nations that if it hadn't installed the education program it has, would hate it. Japan cannot pretend like nothing happened as they will be doomed to repeat its mistakes which with its rising nationalism is its current path.

And let's try to keep issues separate.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The commentor who likened the 14 war criminals at Yasukuni to Hitler is spot on. 14 Japanese Hitlers are enshrined there and that is the only reason South Korea (who should be an ally of Japan as another democracy) and China are against the visits.

Except for the inconvenient fact that Class A war criminals ashes are here.

http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%AE%89%E5%9B%BD%E4%B8%83%E5%A3%AB%E5%BB%9F

Just to reiterate, there are no ashes, remains, tombs, tablets, or names on the wall at Yasukuni.

Though Japan did invest in South Korea and China, as Smith said, they didn't do it merely to atone but as an investment.

Total BS. The ODA Japan gave to China and Korea consisted of pure grant as well as soft loans that contained substantial Grant Element.

What Japan should do and is the only way for everlasting peace is to be like Germany and embrace the atrocities they committed in WW2. Look at Germany's relations now with its neighbors: it is a leader to the nations that if it hadn't installed the education program it has, would hate it.

There are still conflicts between individuals and nations of unsettled claims against Germany with the recent one in Greece. The inconvenient fact remains that Germany high court has already ruled that there will not be any further compensations relating to war damages.

And let's try to keep issues separate.

Yes. Honoring of fallen soldiers by lawmakers is still universal.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Nigelboy, the names of the war criminals are there and should be stricken.

Regarding the loans, so Japan didn't profit one yen from their loans?

Though you mention Greece's conflict with Germany in court, the popular opinion and current state of government relations is that Germany is seen favorably and is a leader in the EU.

What Japan ignores is the basic human trait that people will not follow or see favorably those who don't acknowledge their shortcomings. In this case, though Japan has apologized, these apologies are not proportional to the level of atrocities Japan committed - Germany's apology through its education program is and this is what accounts for the stark differences in views by its neighbors.

Suppose you work at a company. The boss does something very wrong to you as a result of policy. He can apologize, he can give you money as compensation, but if he doesn't change the policies that resulted in the wrong in the first place, you as a worker will still feel aggrieved.

Bottomline: People do not follow those who do not earn their respect. Japan can keep playing in the sandbox or step up and lead.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Nigelboy, the names of the war criminals are there and should be stricken.

Can't. You can't de-list them. Study on the subject about 合祀

Regarding the loans, so Japan didn't profit one yen from their loans?

No. Grant Element pretty much negates it since there are other more profitable outlets for the money.

Though you mention Greece's conflict with Germany in court, the popular opinion and current state of government relations is that Germany is seen favorably and is a leader in the EU.

Pretty much the same for Japan in all of Asia.

What Japan ignores is the basic human trait that people will not follow or see favorably those who don't acknowledge their shortcomings. In this case, though Japan has apologized, these apologies are not proportional to the level of atrocities Japan committed - Germany's apology through its education program is and this is what accounts for the stark differences in views by its neighbors.

Merely your own personal opinion.

Suppose you work at a company. The boss does something very wrong to you as a result of policy. He can apologize, he can give you money as compensation, but if he doesn't change the policies that resulted in the wrong in the first place, you as a worker will still feel aggrieved.

After the war, Japanese military has not killed a single foreign civilian while that could not be said of Germany. NEXT.

Bottomline: People do not follow those who do not earn their respect. Japan can keep playing in the sandbox or step up and lead.

Let's face it. The ones complaining are China and Korea. Their opinions about Japan is not shared by the rest of the world. Wake up please.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Nothing good comes from War. Nor past or present. The pain of the loss of life never stops on both sides, and in the end everyone loses. Not just the conqured, but also the conqurers. War brings out the Beast in Men. We lose our humanity during War and we become killing machines numb to pain to suffering.

This is why we as humans should never go to War.

"Mankind is the tool using, fire making animal." H.G. Wells, 1914 - The World Set Free

0 ( +1 / -1 )

There wouldn't have been any war dead if they hadn't fancied expanding their empire over Asia. They militaristic government started the Pacific war, yet paint themselves as victims...

Ewan is right. The problem today, more than Japanese pols visiting Yasukuni, is that China is starting to behave like Japan did in the early 1900s. Guess who didn't learn the lesson of history.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Can't. You can't de-list them. Study on the subject about 合祀

Sure you can - it is pure human construct that something "can't" be done.

No. Grant Element pretty much negates it since there are other more profitable outlets for the money.

Soft loans still require interest repaid, and is a drop in the bucket of the destruction Japan caused in human and economic numbers to those countries.

Pretty much the same for Japan in all of Asia.

This is where I think you have willingly put blinders on. I've spoken to a number of Asians - Filipinos, Koreans, Vietnamese, Chinese - who still regard Japan as "evil" because of their actions during WW2.

Merely your own personal opinion.

The current view of Japan's neighbors and state of relations seems to support my opinion. In Israel just recently, the PM apologized to Turkey for a ship raid that caused the deaths of Turkish citizens. Tensions between Israel and Turkey have cooled as a result. One public apology for a relatively minor incident can produce such a result. Japan's apology needs to be more comprehensive and proportional.

After the war, Japanese military has not killed a single foreign civilian while that could not be said of Germany.

Comparing Japan to Germany as the only measure of what constitutes a change in policy is myopic. Let's not forget that America has forbidden Japan from being the aggressor in war. But where Japan does have a degree of control, it has chosen to honor 14 war criminals; its education system whitewashes its wartime atrocities.

Let's face it. The ones complaining are China and Korea. Their opinions about Japan is not shared by the rest of the world. Wake up please.

As I said above, try actually talking to people from other parts of Asia. If a recent mock A-bomb dropping at an American air show had went through, you can be sure Japan would have "complained" as well. But America refrained and relations between it and Japan are fine. Now try to think of it from the Korean and Chinese perspective.

This tit for tat is a microcosm of the problem. We can keep arguing in circles, or people like you/Japan can step up and be a constructive partner.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Sure you can - it is pure human construct that something "can't" be done.

Can a Christian church unbaptize?

Soft loans still require interest repaid, and is a drop in the bucket of the destruction Japan caused in human and economic numbers to those countries.

I thought we're talking about "profits"? Korean war caused the devastation. Great leap backwards caused devastation. Japan simply aided those two as a sign of goodwill.

This is where I think you have willingly put blinders on. I've spoken to a number of Asians - Filipinos, Koreans, Vietnamese, Chinese - who still regard Japan as "evil" because of their actions during WW2.

Other than the two (Korea and China), why is Japan looked favorably among other 45 countries? (BBC poll)

The current view of Japan's neighbors and state of relations seems to support my opinion. In Israel just recently, the PM apologized to Turkey for a ship raid that caused the deaths of Turkish citizens. Tensions between Israel and Turkey have cooled as a result. One public apology for a relatively minor incident can produce such a result. Japan's apology needs to be more comprehensive and proportional.

Your opinion support nothing. Japan has concluded normalization and friendship treaty with Korea and China. It's been well over 40 years now. It's not Japan's problem that these two childish nations can't move forward based on those treaties.

Comparing Japan to Germany as the only measure of what constitutes a change in policy is myopic. Let's not forget that America has forbidden Japan from being the aggressor in war. But where Japan does have a degree of control, it has chosen to honor 14 war criminals; its education system whitewashes its wartime atrocities

No it hasn't. U.S. had asked Japan to be more aggressive in terms of global security since the Korean war. And to the second setence, it's the Yasukuni shrine that chose to enlist the Class A war criminals along with the other 2.5 million enshrined there. And like smith, you are in no position to dictate what's in the textbooks when you haven't even read one. Let's be clear. Every nation whitewashes their atrocities to some degree. Singling out Japan makes you look like a hypocrite.

As I said above, try actually talking to people from other parts of Asia. If a recent mock A-bomb dropping at an American air show had went through, you can be sure Japan would have "complained" as well. But America refrained and relations between it and Japan are fine. Now try to think of it from the Korean and Chinese perspective.

Do not arrongantly put "Asia" for it consists of 48 nations. The two that complain the most instill a anti-Japan education through their sole government issued textbook. It's not Japan's problem that these two nations "whitewash" the post war contribution of Japan to them.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

I thought we're talking about "profits"? Korean war caused the devastation. Great leap backwards caused devastation. Japan simply aided those two as a sign of goodwill.

Perhaps Japan didn't immediately profit from their loans, but eventually they did and continue to do so in these countries.

Other than the two (Korea and China), why is Japan looked favorably among other 45 countries? (BBC poll)

How many of those polled were in Asia and asked about their stance on Japan as related to Yasukuni?

Your opinion support nothing. Japan has concluded normalization and friendship treaty with Korea and China. It's been well over 40 years now. It's not Japan's problem that these two childish nations can't move forward based on those treaties.

Japan is undermining these treaties by its officials visiting the shrine. Again, if present day German officials were to visit a Hitler shrine, imagine the response. It is because of a lack of awareness of what the Japanese war criminals did that you're failing to match the Hitler analogy.

No it hasn't. U.S. had asked Japan to be more aggressive in terms of global security since the Korean war. And to the second setence, it's the Yasukuni shrine that chose to enlist the Class A war criminals along with the other 2.5 million enshrined there. And like smith, you are in no position to dictate what's in the textbooks when you haven't even read one. Let's be clear. Every nation whitewashes their atrocities to some degree. Singling out Japan makes you look like a hypocrite.

Japan is forbidden from the US from acting as anything other than peacekeepers. It is written in their constitution. We can't judge Japan for not causing any military deaths if they are forbidden from doing so. What we can judge them on are the choices they've made and we see whitewashed textbooks and visits to Yasukuni shrine. Germany willingly includes Nazi atrocities in their textbooks unlike Japan. It is nothing something that another victimized country should ask for. About every nation whitewashing, let's try to keep the issues separate and about being a hypocrite, let's not resort to namecalling, shall we?

Again, you are getting mired in the details and the ideal, when practically speaking Japan has not done enough to atone for their wartime crimes and in fact have doubled down and taken an aggressive stance. It's like a bully who is caught doing something wrong and instead of apologizing, attacks the one who caught him.

Japan will not improve relations with its neighbors no matter how economically entwined they are unless it takes long-lasting and serious measures like Germany. Its neighbors are not going anywhere, and are only growing stronger.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Apparently Emperor Hirohito didn't think it appropriate that the so-called A-class criminals had become enshrined, and refused to visit Yasukuni from that time in 1978 until his death in 1989. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controversies_surrounding_Yasukuni_Shrine I respect his opinion.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

AlexNoaburg Apr. 24, 2013 - 02:59AM JST Again, if present day German officials were to visit a Hitler shrine, imagine the response. It is because of a lack of awareness of what the Japanese war criminals did that you're failing to match the Hitler analogy.

Germany also had something similar to Yasukuni controversy. In 1985, U.S. President Reagan in the company of West German Chancellor Kohl visited the Bitburg Military Cemetery, which contained the graves of 49 members of the Waffen-SS. Kohl's request to have Reagan go to Bitburg was a strategy to rewrite recent German history. At the time, Reagan considered a visit to a concentration camp "unnecessary." Reagan made matters worse by appearing to equate dead German soldiers with the victims of the Holocaust. "They were victims," he said of the soldiers buried at Bitburg, "just as surely as the victims in the concentration camps." Reagan's comments drew angry responses from American Jewish leaders and described Reagan's remarks as a "distortion of history, a perversion of language, and a callous offense to the Jewish community. The German Chancellor Kohl's attempt to rehabilitate the reputation of the Waffen-SS had failed.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Honestly, Nigelboy, I don't know what your aim is, but I'm for peace; I'm for Japan being at peace with its neighbors. For that to happen, Japan must come clean in its textbooks and strike the names of war criminals from Yasukuni. Then Japan has the high ground and if the other countries can't see it, common sense and logic dictates that it will be the other countries that are seen to be in the wrong. Japan will become stronger by accepting and truly instilling its past in its people, not weaker. It is the strong person who can admit their wrongs, ask forgiveness, and move on. It is the strong that can own up their mistakes for that is human and we are infallible. It won't come easy but to rise above and be great isn't easy.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Perhaps Japan didn't immediately profit from their loans, but eventually they did and continue to do so in these countries.

In order to do that, the receipient must start profiting as well. That's the whole point of aid, isn't it?

How many of those polled were in Asia and asked about their stance on Japan as related to Yasukuni?

None. But let's reiterate what you stated.

"I've spoken to a number of Asians - Filipinos, Koreans, Vietnamese, Chinese - who still regard Japan as "evil" because of their actions during WW2. "

Japan is undermining these treaties by its officials visiting the shrine. Again, if present day German officials were to visit a Hitler shrine, imagine the response. It is because of a lack of awareness of what the Japanese war criminals did that you're failing to match the Hitler analogy.

As I said before, there already EXISTS a place in Aichi pref. where the executed Class A criminals ASHES are housed. If and when the Japanese lawmakers go there is when people like you can claim that they are honoring the criminals. This, by simple logic, is the closest match to your tiresome Hitler analogy.

Japan is forbidden from the US from acting as anything other than peacekeepers. It is written in their constitution. We can't judge Japan for not causing any military deaths if they are forbidden from doing so. What we can judge them on are the choices they've made and we see whitewashed textbooks and visits to Yasukuni shrine. Germany willingly includes Nazi atrocities in their textbooks unlike Japan. It is nothing something that another victimized country should ask for. About every nation whitewashing, let's try to keep the issues separate and about being a hypocrite, let's not resort to namecalling, shall we?

Forbidden from the U.S.? No. Japan can amend the consitution anytime if they want to without any permission from other countries. The mere fact that it has not been amended and is abiding by it and as a result, no foreign civilians has died from Japan's defense forces is a direct result of it (which Germany cannot claim) clearly that they learned from history. (68 years and counting). So don't bring Germany into the picture and cry foul when I pointed out your hypocricy.

Again, you are getting mired in the details and the ideal, when practically speaking Japan has not done enough to atone for their wartime crimes and in fact have doubled down and taken an aggressive stance. It's like a bully who is caught doing something wrong and instead of apologizing, attacks the one who caught him

There is a reason why Japan was able to gain U.N. membership in 1956 nearly 17 earlier than that of Germany. Do look it up in hopes that we can put this absurd comparison to a rest.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Honestly, Nigelboy, I don't know what your aim is,

The problem with your comment is that you completely ignore the irrational behavior of the two countries that bitch the most while wrongfully assuming that Japan doesn't have the higher moral ground as well as support from other nations in regards to this issue. To simplify, any nation that criticize how the other nations honour their own war veterans or deceased soldiers never has a higher moral ground, PERIOD.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The problem with Yasukuni isn't the enshrinement of those who are considered to have died in service to Japan in itself. Although some of the distinction of who can and can't be seems a bit arbitrary. There are 1068 class b and class c war criminals. To be a war criminal, they were convicted of crimes against humanity. Japan never signed the Geneva conventions, some of the crimes were against the Japanese military code. Although Japan accepted the judgement of the trials, Japan never accepted the convicted as criminals. Leaving the 1068 aside, you have the problem of the 14 Class A criminals. They were convicted of crimes against peace which was defined in the Kellogg-Briand pact which Japan signed in 1929. In 1969, the shrine and ministry officials decided that the Class A criminals could be enshrined but keep this a secret. In 1978, they were raised to the level of "kami". This was against the wish of the emperor and the emperor never visited the shrine again. It is interesting that a Shinto would defy the emperor whose is the basis of Shintoism. So, the lawmakers in visiting the shrine are violating the religious premise that they say justify their visit. From a world view, Japan has not change from the early 20th century where the Japanese were viewed as duplicitous, hence the anger of China and Korea.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So, the lawmakers in visiting the shrine are violating the religious premise that they say justify their visit.

That's strictly a domestic issue.

From a world view, Japan has not change from the early 20th century where the Japanese were viewed as duplicitous, hence the anger of China and Korea.

Ok. Then can you explain to me why China did not complain from 1979-1985 during which time the Japanese PM visited Yasukuni 21 times? What about Korea who as late as 2002 had their military attache (embassy) visit Yasukuni?

The point here is that it looks like "reasons" that they are protesting that you and other have alluded to are just made up after the fact considering that just a few years ago, they were strictly against PM's visiting. Now the bar has shifted to where no lawmakers can go there.

The recent example of "creating" is the "Ensign flag" of Japan used/displayed in public events/shirts/logos where it was not a problem in 2009 (See Yu Darvish last strike out recorded during the WBC final) and in 2012 Olympics and beyond, Koreans are going ape**** over this.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

@nigelboyApr. 24, 2013 - 01:21AM JST

Nigelboy, the names of the war criminals are there and should be stricken.

Can't. You can't de-list them. Study on the subject about 合祀

Stop making excuses Nigelboy. All stuff that is man made can be 'de man made'! One day the younger Japanese will get tired of this Shinto rigidness and be like Westerners and not be interested in religion anymore. Then all those Shrines will have no visitors, just like in Thailand, those temples are almost deserted by the newer smartphone generations whereby they visit only ocassionally during festive seasons. Let's banish the Shrines if they cannot accomodate procedures to make peace between Japan and Korea/China more attainable! I say delist those Class A Criminal names from the Yasukuni Shrine and put their names only where their ashes are located in a different shrine. Why is this so hard to do? Japanese special culture? Why the need to comingle to cause all sorts of problems?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@ka_chanApr. 24, 2013 - 04:57AM JST

The problem with Yasukuni isn't the enshrinement of those who are considered to have died in service to Japan in itself. Although some of the distinction of who can and can't be seems a bit arbitrary. There are 1068 class b and class c war criminals. To be a war criminal, they were convicted of crimes against humanity. Japan never signed the Geneva conventions, some of the crimes were against the Japanese military code. Although Japan accepted the judgement of the trials, Japan never accepted the convicted as criminals. Leaving the 1068 aside, you have the problem of the 14 Class A criminals. They were convicted of crimes against peace which was defined in the Kellogg-Briand pact which Japan signed in 1929. In 1969, the shrine and ministry officials decided that the Class A criminals could be enshrined but keep this a secret. In 1978, they were raised to the level of "kami". This was against the wish of the emperor and the emperor never visited the shrine again. It is interesting that a Shinto would defy the emperor whose is the basis of Shintoism. So, the lawmakers in visiting the shrine are violating the religious premise that they say justify their visit. From a world view, Japan has not change from the early 20th century where the Japanese were viewed as duplicitous, hence the anger of China and Korea.

Thank you very much ka_chan for your research. Finally we all understand why there is so much anger about the Shrine visits by public servants. They defy the Emperor's wish, making the Emperor looks weak, they are in cahoot with the priests to elevate the Class A Criminals to kami level, done in secret! This is the heart of the matter: any time you have conducts done in secret, something mischievous must be going on. So I don't blame the Chinese and the Koreans for being so upset. By praying and bowing in Yasukuni Shrine, the very act immediately link the public servants to the 14 Class A Criminals, whether intentional or not, that is the perception they have to prove otherwise.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Stop making excuses Nigelboy. All stuff that is man made can be 'de man made'! One day the younger Japanese will get tired of this Shinto rigidness and be like Westerners and not be interested in religion anymore. Then all those Shrines will have no visitors, just like in Thailand, those temples are almost deserted by the newer smartphone generations whereby they visit only ocassionally during festive seasons. Let's banish the Shrines if they cannot accomodate procedures to make peace between Japan and Korea/China more attainable! I say delist those Class A Criminal names from the Yasukuni Shrine and put their names only where their ashes are located in a different shrine. Why is this so hard to do? Japanese special culture? Why the need to comingle to cause all sorts of problems?

Why get riled up about something you don't believe in? Shinto shrines are doing fine. See the millions and millions of visitors during New Years?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

tmarieApr. 23, 2013 - 10:19PM JST Gee, I wonder how many Chinese politicians visit mass murderer Mao's tomb every year and no one says squat?**

So two bads are okay? No one here is agreeing that they should visit Mao's tomb are they?

Fact, the big difference between the murderer Mao's tomb and the Yasukuni shrine is one holds the bones of a mass-muderer and the other holds none.

Get it?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Fact, the big difference between the murderer Mao's tomb and the Yasukuni shrine is one holds the bones of a mass-muderer and the other holds none

Bones, ashes .... what's the difference. You're just splitting hairs here.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@nigelboy

Why get riled up about something you don't believe in? Shinto shrines are doing fine. See the millions and millions of visitors during New Years?

Me getting riled up? Hell no! I am just making a cold observation about Shintoism as practised in Yasukuni Shrine. Just as there are various sects of Islam, I believe there are Shintoism of different variant in Japan. It is the one in Yasukuni that is as bad as those practised by extreme Islam sects that causes Islamphobia fear which is unfair as not all Islam sects are evil. Bad in the sense it deliberately do in secret the comingling of the 14 Class A Criminals with the other Japanese war dead. Again why can't these 14 names be just cut off and put in the shrine where their ashes are kept? You still have not answer this question!

Excerpt from ka_chan post: " In 1969, the shrine and ministry officials decided that the Class A criminals could be enshrined but keep this a secret. In 1978, they were raised to the level of "kami". This was against the wish of the emperor and the emperor never visited the shrine again. It is interesting that a Shinto would defy the emperor whose is the basis of Shintoism. SO YOU UNDERSTAND HOW DISGUSTING THESE PRIESTS ARE?

New Year throngs of people? Exactly as I talk about Thailand, people go there on festive occasions, during weddings, calling on monks to perform special services. Other than that they are dying to have visitors! Churches are dying in the Western world and I believe younger generations will just ignore the Shrines just like the Thais do until New Year or special occasions comes around!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinto

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@AlexNoaburgApr. 24, 2013 - 03:18AM JST

Honestly, Nigelboy, I don't know what your aim is, but I'm for peace; I'm for Japan being at peace with its neighbors. For that to happen, Japan must come clean in its textbooks and strike the names of war criminals from Yasukuni. Then Japan has the high ground and if the other countries can't see it, common sense and logic dictates that it will be the other countries that are seen to be in the wrong. Japan will become stronger by accepting and truly instilling its past in its people, not weaker. It is the strong person who can admit their wrongs, ask forgiveness, and move on. It is the strong that can own up their mistakes for that is human and we are infallible. It won't come easy but to rise above and be great isn't easy.

I want to say a special "Thank You" for your far sighted forward thinking attitude. It is easier for you than me to push the Peace Agenda, being me having Chinese blood. Hope you can win more converts. Nationalism is so yesterday!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Me getting riled up? Hell no! I am just making a cold observation about Shintoism as practised in Yasukuni Shrine. Just as there are various sects of Islam, I believe there are Shintoism of different variant in Japan. It is the one in Yasukuni that is as bad as those practised by extreme Islam sects that causes Islamphobia fear which is unfair as not all Islam sects are evil. Bad in the sense it deliberately do in secret the comingling of the 14 Class A Criminals with the other Japanese war dead. Again why can't these 14 names be just cut off and put in the shrine where their ashes are kept? You still have not answer this question!

Actually, the Emperor wasn't against the enshrinement of Class A criminals per se. He was disturbed by the two out of 14 that was on the list and it's not the two that you think it is. And again, Jinjya doesn't keep ashes and those that house ashes don't keep lists so what you are doing here is redefining what Jinjya and cemeteries should do. Finally, whether or not the Emperor agreed to or not and to who is purely a domestic matter which does not concern foreign nations especially to people like you who have clearly displayed the complete lack of knowledge regarding Yasukuni but denounce them anyways. In other words, your lack of knowledge is the same as those protesting in Korea. They don't know about it but hate it anyways.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I'm so sick of this damn issue.

These politicians aren't doing it to honor the dead. They're doing it to put on a show for the nationalists who voted them into office. It's nothing more than shameless pandering. And then those same panderers talk about "strengthening ties with China and South Korea." If you're constantly pissing them off, you're not exactly strengthening ties. It'd be like America "strengthening ties" with Japan by commemorating the Japanese internment camps.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@DP812Apr. 24, 2013 - 10:23AM JST

I'm so sick of this damn issue.

These politicians aren't doing it to honor the dead. They're doing it to put on a show for the nationalists who voted them into office. It's nothing more than shameless pandering. And then those same panderers talk about "strengthening ties with China and South Korea." If you're constantly pissing them off, you're not exactly strengthening ties. It'd be like America "strengthening ties" with Japan by commemorating the Japanese internment camps. These politicians aren't doing it to honor the dead. They're doing it to put on a show for the nationalists who voted them into office. It's nothing more than shameless pandering. And then those same panderers talk about "strengthening ties with China and South Korea." If you're constantly pissing them off, you're not exactly strengthening ties. It'd be like America "strengthening ties" with Japan by commemorating the Japanese internment camps.

Japanese politicians, reminding me of evil snakes (that serpent in the garden of Adam & Eve), talking with hissing forked tongues, shooting from both sides of their mouth. Now the world knows who is the instigator against Peace!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Ewan HuzarmyApr. 24, 2013 - 08:03AM JST Fact, the big difference between the murderer Mao's tomb and the Yasukuni shrine is one holds the bones of a mass-muderer and the other holds none Bones, ashes .... what's the difference. You're just splitting hairs here.

Yasukuni shrine holds no ashes, bone, tshirt, blood nada zip zilch......Don't believe me do some research for yourself and be amazed....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

**Fact, the big difference between the murderer Mao's tomb and the Yasukuni shrine is one holds the bones of a mass-muderer and the other holds none.

Get it?**

So you think bones are the issue? It seems you don't get that Japan doesn't really do the bones "thing" and will worship pictures, ashes and little titles with names on them.

Get it?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

'I split on your grave' mania is looming!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

tmarieApr. 24, 2013 - 03:55PM JST So you think bones are the issue? It seems you don't get that Japan doesn't really do the bones "thing" and will worship pictures, ashes and little titles with names on them. Get it?

Are you saying you have been to the Shrine? If you wouldn't mind telling me exactly where in the Shrine itself do they have pictures of those men? Because I didn't see any there.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@JoeBigs

Yasukuni shrine holds no ashes, bone, tshirt, blood nada zip zilch......Don't believe me do some research for yourself and be amazed..

This is totally irrelevant. When the lawmakers visited the Shrine you can be sure what is in their hearts. On the one hand they pray for the souls, the kami of the millions of war deads.

On the other hand, you can also be sure when they clap their hands, they are summoning Tojo and his gang to restore Imperial Japan glory again! Otherwise why embedded these 14 Class A Criminals in Yasukuni? A rather convenient way to 'buy one get one free' right?

Hint: Abe pursuit to rewrite the Japanese Constitution = Remilitarisation! ( ya, we heard that self defense storyline before, but isn't US there to protect Japan?)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There is only good thing about Yasukuni Shrine... its miko (shrine maidens).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Maybe some politicians are based on region which lost to Boshin Senso? Yasukuni was made by Emperor Meiji to comemorate people who died to establish Meiji Government, But it also has place for people who died for Shogunate's side. Old old shrine. Yasukuni means pacified country. When we heard Japan lost war, we went to school to celebrate even it was summer time, No more bokugo hiding. Bokugo is air raid evacuation tunnels. Later we read memorial diary of Kamikaze pilots. Freedom of media came out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites