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2 cabinet ministers visit Yasukuni with non-partisan group; S Korea, China protest

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I guess it is their right to pay their respects - even to the terrible war criminals - however I am sure the Japanese execs of Toyota, Nissan, Sony etc are furious with these dropkick pollies! Their sales will plummet even further.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

It's disgusting to see the LDP continually jumping on the most convenient band wagon to provoke the common people of Asia while appeasing our American 'friends' at the tremendous cost of our own sensibilities and opportunities.

The Chinese automobile market was an opportunity for us to break free from the shackles of our existing symbiosis with the US economy. Now it's mostly gone thanks to the devious political hatching of that aged Shonan schmuck in Tokyo. We need to reassess who our real friends and enemies are. When we say OUR I mean the interests of the Japanese people, not what are in the minds of some rich expats and citizens, who can flee the country at the first sign of trouble.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

BTW - what's with that halloween costume on the guy in the front? Grand Wizard?

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

visiting Yasukuni harms no one yet the Chinese government is outraged. where was that outrage when buildings, cars, peoples' lives, etc. were being destroyed by the demonstrators in China? where was it the other day when 4 Japanese people were attacked in Shanghai? priorities please!

4 ( +15 / -11 )

It's a Japanese custom to honor the dead and visit the shrine. These other Asian countries are just using this as a motive to attack Japan. They are so full of it. Let them protest, they are just acting childish...as always.

-5 ( +12 / -17 )

Behavior speaks louder than word. As long as war criminals are honored, I don't believe that Japan can leave history behind. I don't believe Japan will still be 'peaceful' were there not American army. In short sentences, 'American make Japanese peaceful'.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

Resurfaced

It is your choice to do the right things. It is others' responsibility to teach correct histories, to condemn immoral behaviors, to prepare for the worst, etc. Japan will never become a 'normal' country as it has been seeking, as long as it continues honoring war criminals and lying in the textbooks.

Don't forget: You are free to make choices, but you are responsible for your own choices.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

The shrine is in Japan and it is for the Japanese people, let the PRC and it's servant state known as Korea squack all they want. They would squack even if no one went to the shrine so who cares what they think.

I have visited the place and loved it, my wife and I plan on going to it again and again and again.

2 ( +13 / -11 )

JoeBigs

I have visited the place and loved it, my wife and I plan on going to it again and again and again.

Who ask?

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Resurfaced:

" It's a Japanese custom to honor the dead and visit the shrine "

And you are sure it is Japanese custom to honor convicted war criminals?

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Some commentators focus on a few war criminals and that is the problem, not the Yasukuni shrine itself. As far as I know Kami at Yasukuni consists of something like 2,5 million spirits. Focusing the few and then blaming the whole people is just stupid, possibly some kind of psychic disorder. Yes it is a japanese custom to pay respect to dead ancesters. They have done so for a long time and they should continue as long as they like. If you cant forget - basically it is your problem - not the contemporary japanese people. Go see a head doctor.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

If you haven't been there, please refrain from commenting. Even the losers in war deserve the ability to pay respects to those who died. The poem about being buried beneath the cherry blossoms and the new room which contains the photos of all who died are very moving. I am not Japanese, but I was very moved by the experience. If I was Japanese, I would expect my elected representatives to visit the shrine out of respect. It had a similar vibe to ANZAC day in Australia. If you told an Australian that ANZAC day was off the cards because it offended people, which some are trying to do, you would be run out of the country.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Strong willed guys, the politicos: "Oh, oh, AAAAABE went... Then we can also go, yatta." I really wish Japan would just bite the bullet, take the bull by the horns and apologize to these countries immediately, in whatever fashion they want, once and for all.

Then, we wouldn't have to hear any more from these opportunistic Chinese and Korean politicians and they could find new thing to work themsleves red in the face over.

Grow up, already, ossans.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Strong willed guys, the politicos: "Oh, oh, AAAAABE went... Then we can also go, yatta." I really wish Japan would just bite the bullet, take the bull by the horns and apologize to these countries immediately, in whatever fashion they want, once and for all.

Then, we wouldn't have to hear any more from these opportunistic Chinese and Korean politicians and they could find new thing to work themsleves red in the face over.

Grow up, already, ossans...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Opposition leader Shinzo Abe, a man well-placed to become Japan’s next prime minister, was at the Shinto shrine Wednesday, prompting criticism from China.

Dear god, please don't let this nationalistic, historical revisionist piece of dung become PM again...

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Straya

Everyday those 14 Class A war criminals are still considered a part of Yasukuni renders all sentiment null and void and only serves to support right wing extremists. This isn't the case in Australia and to compare anything of it is fantastic in its impossible comparison. This is not okay.

If the 14 were removed then the people's faith in the shrine may be restored. Until then, it is a facade, and anyone who supports it, shows they are devoid of ethical qualities to being with

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Sentiments

And yet it is yourself that is implying that the 2.5 million spirits can be controlled from beyond the grave? Not possible

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Therefore, since controlling spirits is impossible anyway, then there is no reason to keep those 14 on their lists at all, in deference to the 2.5 million . Thus Japan can keep worshiping spirits, but not 14 Class A war criminals and their crimes would no longer stain anyone who visits the shrine, regardless of the reason why

Isn't that better for everyone?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I do hate Yasukuni shrine, but I am not Japanese, nor are the Chinese and Koreans who protest visits to this shrine, but I do PAY TAXES for Japan and I do not want my taxes to fund these dorks!! If they want to visit shrines, do it privately, not with my hard earned taxes!!!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Sorry but Japanese ministers have every right to visit a shrine honouring the deceased from that terrible war, they served their country honourably just as millions did in other countries. the Tragic events of war are not limited to any one nation and terrible things happened on all sides. It is time for China and Korea to move on and live in the present. They cannot punish the living for acts of the dead. And it is the Japanese cultural tradition to honour ancestors and those who serve the nation, just as do any. Telling them to not visit their shrine is like telling the Americans to stop honouring the Unknown Solider or the same to any other nation with a history. Respect is worthy of respect. The Shinto Priest is wearing traditonal attire: here is a website that will show you and give you some history of that.

http://jkllr.net/2010/01/22/a-look-shinto-dress/

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Japan Class A war criminals was respected by the Japanese inside the Yasukuni shrine. Then the free world might as well lets the muslims respect their Terrorist chief by not throwing and buried him under the sea's.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Now, I do admit that a man has a choice what to do in his life and make the choices he believes in.

However, Abe is a politician(not a very good one) who is in the public eye and gaining popularity.

It is on the strength of tension with neighbouring countries that he will likely be the next(his second chance, comically) PM.

No country needs a right wing leader, but Abe, with the help of the media, is playing a smart and cunning game.

A lot of Japanese still don't know the facts of WW2, and it is the likes of Abe that are playing the all too familiar "the victims are Japanese" whenever one criticises Japan and its policies in any way.

Whereas Noda lost popularity due to nuclear power policies, Abe is jumping on the Good Ship Popularity by using a different approach - defending the country and showing a backbone to the threats of China.

All pathetic really, as he will clearly take this beyond all chnce of repair, and its also a slap in the face to refuse to acknowledge war history. I mean, how do you break it to the nation and say, "yes, Japan's troops did this, this, and this".

Abe's visit to the shrine is bad timing and just another point for Japan in this game of which country, China or Japan,can keep up the nonsense for as long as possible.

the news will report this amid scenes of Chinese hatred....Abe's popularity grows.

The blind leading the blind.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

No problem people, Japan knows to handle the situation with Korea and China.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Well...Chinese and Koreans need to go to island but we can piss them off just the same by just visiting a temple!!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

This should tell the Japanese voters two things - a) Returning the LDP to power would be a huge mistake and b) Noda can't control the people within his own party. Visiting Yasukuni now is just stupid. Things are so fragile and any reason to provoke more tension is irresponsible. Noda should discipline the two ministers immediately by kicking them off the cabinet. It's time to let the Japanese people know that the militaristic nationals that are a very loud minority of the population do not represent the overwhelming majority and will not be tolerated in modern Japan. I'm not going to hold my breath that Noda will have the courage to take that line, but until someone stands up to these people, things are going to get worse before they get better.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Forgetting the 14 war criminals that are enshrined there. There's 2.5 million war dead who should be respected and neither China or South Korea have the right to tell us what we can and can't do on our own shores.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

I hate when they do this. I'm not sure what they are trying to prove but it sucks when you have to work in Shanghai with Japanese people like I do.

Japan and China agreed to disagree on these islands over thirty years ago when normalized their diplomatic relations. For the most part they simply agreed not to do anything about them. Everything was fine till the governor of Tokyo, Shintaro Ishihara, opened up the can of worms by stating his intent to buy then on behalf of Tokyo. I agree that China is over reacting but all these problems have been instigated by Japan. Shintaro Ishihara says such outrageous things and is a complete bigot, in any other country he would have to resign. With Abe trying to make some stupid statement by paying his respects at Yasukuni, there is really no end in sight. Not particularly smart with Japan's economy on the rocks and China's under performing economy either. If Abe becomes the prime minister, Japan is doomed.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Forgetting the 14 war criminals that are enshrined there. There's 2.5 million war dead who should be respected and neither China or South Korea have the right to tell us what we can and can't do on our own shores.

No, there should be no "forgetting" that 14 war criminals are enshrined there. This IS the issue. No one is forgetting that and Japan refuses to remove their names from the place. Remove the names and no one has an issue with it. Continue to pay homage to war criminals and things kick off EVERY time. Ever notice who visits this place in terms of government officials? Right leaning figures. Why? Because they know that a) it pisses off the rest of Asia and b) will win them support from right wingers and nationalist. This has NOTHING to do with paying respects to anyone for anything. This is nothing but a media spotlight grab - and a pathetic one at that.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

There is nothing wrong in visiting a shrine, even if it contains war criminals, or whatever their remnants are there, but for the right reasons.

However, Abe & Co. do it for the show. It is clear, because they visit and then allow (and probably enjoy) wild speculations on the matter in the local and foreign mass media, which bring their names and "popularity" upfront. Now, Abe seems to do it also for personal reasons, while some other politicians do it only for the show. Visits to the Yasukuni shrine long became a part of the electoral cycle in Japan, and China, Korea and the others fully understand that. They understand that Abe and friends Use the shrine and the controversy around it to get more votes and for personal reasons, making all the population of Japan to be involved into unwillingly supporting this shows and his personal gains. Not surprising that China and everyone else is pissed. Surprising that some Japanese public sees these visits as strength against China, while they cause nothing but irritation and bad relationships, AND they do not honor the dead but use them for winning elections, AND serve to fulfill personal agenda of those (Abe), who already shown to be not able to govern Japan, but only bring trouble.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Robert AbenzOct. 18, 2012 - 02:17PM JST JoeBigs I have visited the place and loved it, my wife and I plan on going to it again and again and again. Who ask?

Have you ever been there?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I do find it funny how some folk who have never been their commnet on it like they know full well about the shrine.

But funniest of all are the people who actually believe that people's bones are burried there, those make me laugh whenever they make their crazed posts.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

It's superfluous if we have been there or like it or not. For the Prime Minister (or any Japanese politician) to go is the equivalent of the German prime minister laying flowers at Hitler's grave (if there was a grave). Especially because he is trying to make a political statement by going. If he went on the weekend in casual attire it wouldn't be as big a deal. He didn't, which means that it wasn't a personal visit but something completely different.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

What is there to protest? According to the Holy Bilbe after death ,human body go back to dust, spirit return to God, soul belong to hades ...nothing at Yasukuni jinja anyway; all is just emptiness.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I do find it funny how some folk who have never been their commnet on it like they know full well about the shrine.

I find it funny when people who HAVE been there don't see an issue with it. I've been there and think it wouldn't take too much effort to clear up the issue. No one has ANY issues with pay respects to those who fought and died honourably. War criminals on the other hand are nothing near being honourable - which is the issue.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

JoeBigsOct. 18, 2012 - 07:42PM JST I do find it funny how some folk who have never been their commnet on it like they know full well about the shrine. But funniest of all are the people who actually believe that people's bones are burried there, those make me laugh whenever they make their crazed posts.

We are not discussing the Yasukuni shrine and what is physically enshrined there, but the visit and its consequences. Stay on topic instead of fantasizing, and it will become less funny, and maybe even will make more sense.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Well said Patrick!

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

No, there should be no "forgetting" that 14 war criminals are enshrined there.

You miss read my post. When I mean forgetting I mean putting aside the fact that there are war criminals there and that we should in fact be remembering the ordinary soldiers who died in conflict. We shouldn't be ignoring their names for the sake of a few.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Patrick smash, well said.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

If it is not the islands its is the shrine. Then they have the schoolbooks as a fall back. If that is not enough it is the "comfort women". If this is not enough then Japans apologies are not sincere enough. Blah blah blah blah

0 ( +8 / -8 )

You still don't get it Kari. No one should have to put anything aside when it comes to war criminals and government officials. Besides, you can pay your respects to anyone at anytime at any place. One doesn't need to go to a very controversial place to do so. No one is asking anyone to ignore anything except you.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

You really think that I'm so ignorant about the war criminals there? Never in any of my posts have I condoned the war criminals being there or that we should just ignore what they have done. It seems you are the one that still doesn't understand tmarie. Say if I went there to pay respects to the other 2.5 million soldiers enshrined there and NOT the war criminals. Would you say that was disrespectful towards other countries who remember their fallen? Would that be a controversial thing to do?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

KariHarukaOct. 18, 2012 - 09:12PM JST You really think that I'm so ignorant about the war criminals there? Never in any of my posts have I condoned the war criminals being there or that we should just ignore what they have done. It seems you are the one that still doesn't understand tmarie. Say if I went there to pay respects to the other 2.5 million soldiers enshrined there and NOT the war criminals. Would you say that was disrespectful towards other countries who remember their fallen? Would that be a controversial thing to do?

That is right. When you visit a cemetery to pay respect to your relatives, for example, you do not automatically pay respect to all the dead or to some bandits, which might be engraved there. That is why, I have written that the "purpose" of the visit is of primary importance. Again (for JoeBigs), if we discuss the visit and not the shrine itself.

In case of Abe, however, it is clear that he was visiting the 14 AND with the purpose to gain more votes (unless he will publicly state otherwise). Thus, the Chinese reaction is justified.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Kari: Say if I went there to pay respects to the other 2.5 million soldiers enshrined there and NOT the war criminals.

It's fine, but why don't they do it in private? who inform those media to come to take picture/ vedio...? don't be naive! it's a political show!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Say if I went there to pay respects to the other 2.5 million soldiers enshrined there and NOT the war criminals. Would you say that was disrespectful towards other countries who remember their fallen? Would that be a controversial thing to do?

I'm sure your motives for visiting the shrine would be perfectly admirable. Shinzo Abe and other pondlife like him go there because it wins votes among elderly war veterans or elderly bereaved relatives of WW2 servicemen who conveniently live in over-represented rural constituencies, a bit like whichever backwater it is that keeps re-electing Abe to the Diet. I'm sure they'd bulldoze the place tomorrow if they thought it would get more votes.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

What makes me furious is that emperor Hirohito offered to give his own life when he talked to General Mc Arthur in order to negotiate peace for the Japanese people, yet Abe, Ishihara and people like them do not appreciate this but show their disrespect by risking peace by arrogant words and deeds that could provoke a war. These "politicians" think nothing about the security of their people, it seems.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

IMHO I believe this shrine visit is not the root of the issue. If Japan could have turn the page of WWII as Germany did, paying discreetly honor to the dead's spirits (as is in the Japanese culture), regardless of soldiers, mothers or war criminals would not make much noise. But in current circumstances, this shrines are wonderful tools to play the rotten nationalism game.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Shame.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Japan only pay a visit to their boys, dead at war for their country, no matter if they're heroes or criminals, Korea and China, just get over it. end of the story.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Ok, China, South Korea, and North Korea Pay attention to what I am about to State:

Those 14 War Criminals where tried, convicted, and HANGED by their Necks until they where "Dead" by U.S. Occupational Forces post WW2.

The rest of the Names at Yasukuni Shrine were common Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen who where drafted by their Imperialist Government at that time and where forced to Fight Until Their Death during that nightmare called "The War In The Pacific".

The United States Bombed every Major City including Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe, AND 2 Atomic Bombs were unleashed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Also, every Farm and Village that potentially could have been a supply depot for Rice and Weapons were also Bombed and Rocketed by U.S. Warplanes.

The Japanese PAID AN EXTENSIVE Price for their War Mongering. There are No Apologies Necessary and they have the rights and privileges to Honor their War Dead.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

digging deeper holes for themselves

Opposition leader Shinzo Abe, a man well-placed to become Japan’s next prime minister, was at the Shinto shrine Wednesday, prompting criticism from China.

Shinzo Abe ?? PM again ?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This is nothing more than a pony show. If anyone here is being disrespectful it is Abe for making light of those who sacrificed their lives for this country - forcibly or not - for votes. He's disrespecting all those who fought and died for a photo opportunity and to win votes. That's disrespect.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Yuri, as long as Japan keeps giving nations reasons to be upset, expect it.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

This discussion is going in circles, with some people not paying attention to the other side at all.

Nobody (not even the Chinese, I would think) is critizing Japanese politicians for honoring the war dead. Bringing that up is simply a strawman.

But Yasukuni with its extremist political message and the enshrined war criminals is simply the wrong place for that.

If they did it at another location that is not tainted by politics like Yasukuni, nobody could or should object.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I am a Chinese who lives in Japan. Yasukuni Shrine visits have my full support....What is the problem with people going to their religious site and to remember those who have died for their country?? It's like your churchs and mosques...Is this about the "A" class war criminals??? Does anyone here know the fact that one of the "A" class war criminal Nobusuke Kishi was the Prime Minister. Why those morons from mainland and K-Peninsula never said anything about this before. Why Yasukuni visiting has to be blamed all the time and used for political bullcraps??? Symbol of Militarism revival in Japan?? I HOPE THEY DO REVIVE AND RE-ARMED to deal with CHINA'S & KOREA's ARROGANTS AND BULLYINGS

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Kari, I've not said no one should go there. You jet said war criminals shouldn't be there but yet you're asking people to look the other way and ignore it. Nope. Not going to happen. Which is the issue. The names could easily be removed. However, no one has the balls nor the desire to do that. Which is why Japan is often questioned on its stance relating to this issue and where they, as a nation stand.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Yasukuni Jinja has institutional problems that are associated with its very inception as part of the Meiji era State Shinto system's commemoration of the theocratically oriented Meiji Restoration era government and the militarism that it spawned.

Japan's history is rather complicated in this regard, but something needs to be done to separate aspects of worshiping at this shrine that are associated with the nativist theocratic background with roots in the Meiji Restoration that gave rise to the nativist-fascist militarism and the aggression unleashed by Japan's leaders under that regime on other countries in Asia in a somewhat ironic manner in that it was imperialistic aggression clothed in nativism.

Shinto underwent substantial institutional reforms during the Meiji era, and some aspects of State Shinto have Confucian aspects that represented honoring and teaching about the lives of historical figures, and there was a clamp down on the more irrational and cult-like organizations associated with Shinto related groups.

I would imagine that it is high time to implement some fine tuning to the institutional status of Yasukuni Jinja, and several workable proposals have already been presented.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

And indeed, no one is questioning honoring honorable war dead. The issue is honoring those not worthy of honor.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Complaining about those at Yasukuni is at best hypocritical for Westerners. China's motives are different; they know the US shortened war crimes trials in Japan after the war because they needed to rebuild the country into a bastion of anti communism.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@neojamal it's called an alliance and the one between japan and the us is probably standing longer since ties with china dont seem to be very tight anyway. I'm not totally up to speed on asian history but i suspect its got something to do with the ancient (well, not ancient but um early 20th-19th century) japanese governments taking sides with european colonials. Something China hasnt quite gotten over yet. It shows, in about every single one of their epic movies even if you can read between the lines. I think it's a waste since a sinojapanese alliance would definitely own the rest from a purely contemporary pov but the americans never really left after w.w. 2 so i'm guessing its not really all that easy. And from where i'm standing (waay out there, i got a nice view) it looks like china is about to take on the rest of the world by themselves or in some kind of loose not-bother agreement with the putinside. I'm not an expert ofcourse but when it comes to world politics, practicalities, not morals dictate, and as it seems the past is very convenient to provide reasons for the present right now. Sad, in a time where world unification is so important to halt the global problems but it looks like mankinds homo sapiens is still at its babysteps.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

ubikwitOct. 18, 2012 - 11:54PM JST Yasukuni Jinja has institutional problems that are associated with its very inception as part of the Meiji era State Shinto system's commemoration of the theocratically oriented Meiji Restoration era government and the militarism that it spawned. Japan's history is rather complicated in this regard, but something needs to be done to separate aspects of worshiping at this shrine that are associated with the nativist theocratic background with roots in the Meiji Restoration that gave rise to the nativist-fascist militarism and the aggression unleashed by Japan's leaders under that regime on other countries in Asia in a somewhat ironic manner in that it was imperialistic aggression clothed in nativism. Shinto underwent substantial institutional reforms during the Meiji era, and some aspects of State Shinto have Confucian aspects that represented honoring and teaching about the lives of historical figures, and there was a clamp down on the more irrational and cult-like organizations associated with Shinto related groups. I would imagine that it is high time to implement some fine tuning to the institutional status of Yasukuni Jinja, and several workable proposals have already been presented.

ubikwit, I read this 5 times back and forth, and even gave a thumb up. Yet, I do not see links between the historical origin of the shrine and visits of modern politicians. Except obvious. Could you please elaborate. Create links with the current situation. For dummies, that is. Thanks in advance.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

KonstaOct. 18, 2012 - 09:23PM JST In case of Abe, however, it is clear that he was visiting the 14 AND with the purpose to gain more votes (unless he >will publicly state otherwise). Thus, the Chinese reaction is justified.

Could you please provide evidence to substantiate your claim that Abe was specifically visiting the 14 war criminals, as opposed to the 2.5 milion or so enshrined there? I haven't seen anything in any news which suggests that. Thank you.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Konsta

Thanks for the thumbs up. I'm gad to hear that you found that interesting, because it actually covers a very wide range of territory intellectually, from the political history of Japan, the specific relationship of Shinto to that history, the growth of nativism and it's influence on the popular psyche in relation to the effort to topple the Edo Bakufu and "revere the emperor and expel the barbarians", to Shinto in relation to the role of the emperor in the Meiji state.

So you question is actually very difficult to answer in a concise manner.

With respect to the current situation, in particular, most of the people that have been prime minister since the end of WWII are from politically connected families that played an active role in Japan's aggression during WWII, for one thing. One consequence stemming from the "revere the emperor and expel the barbarians" type mentality of the Meiji Restoration nativists was a tendency to hold the emperor and the Japanese emperor system up as a rallying symbol for defense, which could be misappropriated for ulterior purposes. In a sense, Yasukuni Jinja is a symbol that can be misappropriated in a similar register, because it was established to honor those that died in the conflict to overthrow the Edo Bakufu and "restore" the emperor. I don't want to go into that, but there is at least one book on State Shinto, for example, by Helen Hardacre, and there is a good book on the role of nativism vs Confucianism, for example called "Tokugawa Ideology" by Herbert Ooms. The best overall book on the background is by Marius Jansen, called "Sakamoto Ryoma and the Meiji Restoration". To understand the background of the current politicians, Robert Whiting provides a synopsis of how they came to enjoy prominent positions in the post WWII political order in the first half of the book "Tokyo Underworld...".

In the case of the Senkakus/Daiyo dispute, the history goes back to Edo period maps, but the initial annexation by Japan was in 1895 during the Meiji era at a point in time when Japan was being drawn into the imperialist type of geopolitics being carried out by Western colonial powers.

Also, I posted a related passage in the article about Abe visiting the shrine yesterday, which touches on one aspect of Shinto, and Korea and Japan relations from the time of Toyotomi Hideyoshi through Meiji.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

OssanAmerica:

" Could you please provide evidence to substantiate your claim that Abe was specifically visiting the 14 war criminals "

Of course not "specifically", but the fact they have been officially enshrined there (in 1972, I believe, and among great controversy at that time already) makes the whole situation different. You can not pick and and choose. When the Shrine dedicates itself to people who were tried and executed AFTER the war, in addition to those killed during the war, its mission becomes different.

Trying to dismiss this by playing a numbers game does not work. Just as if put only a teaspoon of manure in your drink, the whole glass is spoiled, You are not going to say "oh, it is only a little bit".

0 ( +2 / -2 )

How about The Commies in China remove "Chairman Mao's" Mugshot from Tiananmen Square since he was directly responsible for the Genocide of 40-70 Million Chinese through acts of Violence & Terror during the uprising of the Commie Party?

In Comparison, the Japanese never wiped out 40-70 Million People during their Pacific Campaigns and that's considering Mainland China and the Koreas.

From Toyotomi Hideyoshi to Emperor Hirohito; there were never 40-70 Million People genocide through acts of terror.

So, if China wants to make a point, then take down Mao's image, return power to the people, and we'll see about doing something with those 14 Named War Criminals at Yasukuni.

As far as South Korea goes: They'd better Wise Up FAST and realize that Japan is their only and closest Democratic Nation Ally in Asia, because South Korea is surrounded by Crazy Commies all around them, and South Korea has no Security Alliance with the U.S. in the event the Commies decide to over run them...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japanese politicians and it's citizens are stuck in the time-machine in the past.

They all don't know what is right and what is wrong.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

OssanAmericaOct. 19, 2012 - 01:39AM JST Could you please provide evidence to substantiate your claim that Abe was specifically visiting the 14 war criminals, as opposed to the 2.5 milion or so enshrined there? I haven't seen anything in any news which suggests that. Thank you.

Because Abe, himself, did never separate the 14 from the others and did not clearly or vaguely express that he was visiting the 2.5 million as opposed to the 14, I can not provide evidence.

However, certain actions speak for themselves, and more importantly, are taken by the others in the same way. For example, if you visit a museum of Holocaust, you are most likely going to pay tribute to the victims of Holocaust, unless you say specifically otherwise.

In the current situation, knowing what the place is, visiting it, showing it off and enjoying the mass media coverage and speculations and the following reactions of foreign governments and people, in my eyes, says that he was going there for political gains and not to pay tribute to the 2.5 million sans 14. Otherwise, we wold already have here in JT an article, where Abe would explain his true reasons.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I have to agree that a visit to Yasukuni does no harm to China and Korea; they just raise a stink to pander to nationalism. They don't seem to recognize that it was Japanese nationalism that got the ball rolling back in the 1920s in the first place....BUT, since the J-politicians know what the reaction is going to be and given that J-companies will suffer lost sales in China and Korea as a result the J-pols should be supporting the companies by not going to Yasukuni. Talk about shooting the country in the foot. That's just stupid.

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The issue with blaming and guilt is most likely universal in human history. But I dont think this matter gets solved by one party apologizing for something they did not do. As far as I know kami at any shrine can not be divided once blessed. The 14 war criminals kami will stay at Yasukuni of purely religious reasons. Thus following some of the arguments against visits above would give a situation were none of the dead at Yasukuni could be honored by their relatives. The Chinese people should consider these things in the same way they want Japanese people to understand their feelings. That said I dont think the Chinese government is interested in such things. The issue for them is staying in political power and more cheap resources. Much the same as the imperial japanese army sought for 70-80 years ago.

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Straya,

Your comparison between the yakusukuni shrine and Anzac Day commemorations is so far off the mark it is unbelievable. Having been to the shrine and to several Anzac days l can say the two are nothing alike. Anzac Day is a day where those who served and those who gave their lives are remembered, it is a day that points out the sadness and horror of war. And it is a day to hank those that have served their nation. Yakusukuni on the other hand is a shrine to remember the Japanese dead including those that committed terrible atrocities, however it is so much more. I think what detracts from the shrine is the museum that stands on the grounds of the shrine. The museum that contains symbols of Japanese terror and atrocity (the Thai/Burma railroad train). The reasoning behind Japanese aggression and the way they the Japanese portray themselves as the saviours of Asia and how they where forced into the war by the western nations and only fought it to save Asia from those western powers. You say you have visited the shrine, l guess you missed those bits though?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japan welcomes the profits they make from their sales to the World, yet still live in their own shell.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

KonstaOct. 19, 2012 - 02:12AM JST "OssanAmericaOct. 19, 2012 - 01:39AM JST Could you please provide evidence to substantiate your claim that Abe was specifically visiting the 14 war criminals, as opposed to the 2.5 milion or so enshrined there? I haven't seen anything in any news which suggests that. Thank you."

Because Abe, himself, did never separate the 14 from the others and did not clearly or vaguely express that he was >visiting the 2.5 million as opposed to the 14, I can not provide evidence.

OK, accepting your word that Abe himself never specifically stated that he was visiting the 2.5 million, did he ever specifically state that he was visiting the convicted "14"?

However, certain actions speak for themselves, and more importantly, are taken by the others in the same way. For >example, if you visit a museum of Holocaust, you are most likely going to pay tribute to the victims of Holocaust, >unless you say specifically otherwise.

Yes and by that reasoning, unless Abe specifically stated that he ewas visting the "14", one would assume that he was visiting all 2.5 million. Would you not agree?

In the current situation, knowing what the place is, visiting it, showing it off and enjoying the mass media coverage >and speculations and the following reactions of foreign governments and people, in my eyes, says that he was >going there for political gains and not to pay tribute to the 2.5 million sans 14. Otherwise, we wold already have here >in JT an article, where Abe would explain his true reasons.

I totally disagree and do not see how you reach the above concluson, other than one forced via a biased view towards reaching that specific conclusion. Anyone who visits the shrine by default pays homage to all 2.5 million honored there. While there are no doubt people weho refuse to visit the shrine because the 2.5 million includes the "14", nobody goes goes there specifically to vist just the "14" excluding the remaining approx 499986. Hence no one who visits the shrine whether politician or general public would ever address "which specific souls they are visiting. The concept that "Japanese right-wingers" visit the shrine specifically to pay homage to the "14" is an absurd fallacy propogated by the predominantly anti-Japan Chinese and South Korean crowd. It ignores the rational that even the most ardent right-wingers who may even support the "14" are visiting all 2.5 million.Not "just the 14". Why would anyone who supports the "14" want to exclude all the others?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Steve MimitwOct. 19, 2012 - 02:08AM JST Japanese politicians and it's citizens are stuck in the time-machine in the past. They all don't know what is right and what is wrong.

They know that smashing Chinese restaurants or destroying Chinese products, or assaulting the Chinese Embassy, or beating up innocent Chinese people is wrong. Thy know that a forced "Patriotic Education" that ingrains hatred into generation after generation is wrong. They also know that bullying other nations and using the threat of military force to achieve diplomatic aims is wrong. They know that calling for "war" is wrong.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

WilliBOct. 19, 2012 - 01:53AM JST OssanAmerica: " Could you please provide evidence to substantiate your claim that Abe was specifically visiting the 14 war criminals "

Of course not "specifically",

Thank you., That answers the question.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

KonstaOct. 18, 2012 - 08:30PM JST We are not discussing the Yasukuni shrine and what is physically enshrined there, but the visit and its consequences. Stay on topic instead of fantasizing, and it will become less funny, and maybe even will make more sense.

If you believe that then you have not read a single post. Most people here are speaking about how they themselves object to the shrine because they perceive it to be an evil place because 14 class A war criminal's names are there.

Some folks even believe that these 14 are physically interned there.

When the fact of the matter is that this place is all about paying ones respects for the people who laid down their lives in war. This place is just the same as any other war memorial museum.

Every year every nation in the world pays respects to their war dead. Believe it or not every nation in the world has committed war crimes. The people committing these war crimes are sometimes forgotten on purpose.

If Japan would of won the war they would have prosecuted people from other nations and done the same thing as the allied forces did.

There is a couple old terms that say,"To the victor goes the spoils" and "he who wins the war writes the history."

Hypocrisy is a mans best friend when it comes to war and the crimes committed during those wars.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

tmarieOct. 18, 2012 - 11:54PM JST And indeed, no one is questioning honoring honorable war dead. The issue is honoring those not worthy of honor.

But people are questioning people going there because 14 names are there.

Some folks here are even claiming that politicians who go to the Shrine are only doing it to garner benny points with the far right in Japan.

That in itself is a smokescreen of unsubstantiated bull droppings. Not one politician has said he/she/it is going there to pay their respects to those 14 names. Each and everyone of them are going there to pay their respects to those that died.

Everyone that makes silly claims without a single iota of proof is throwing dung against a fan.

If anyone here has proof that any of them are going there to garner favor from the far right, then by all means provide that proof. Heck if you had this proof I am fairly sure that most if not all media outlets would pay you big for your proof.

But as I said before, people have no proof just opinion and that's what drives their madness.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Steve MimitwOct. 19, 2012 - 02:08AM JST Japanese politicians and it's citizens are stuck in the time-machine in the past - just like the Afghans and Pakistani. They all don't know what is right and what is wrong.

Because Japanese people go and pay respects to their war dead?

If this is true then every nation in the world is guilty of the same crime.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

JoeBigs Oct. 19, 2012 - 07:35AM JST When the fact of the matter is that this place is all about paying ones respects for the people who laid down their lives in war. This place is just the same as any other war memorial museum. Every year every nation in the world pays respects to their war dead. Believe it or not every nation in the world has committed war crimes. The people committing these war crimes are sometimes forgotten on purpose. But for the sake of argument I will highlight just a few.

Japan has more of the same old issues that continues to repeat. As a group they show the intense racism underlying Japanese society. The real message of the war criminals being enshrined at Yakasuni is that no matter what you do, no matter how much suffering you inflict, if you have Japanese blood in your veins you are ok. On the other hand if you are foreigner, no matter how much they have suffered it is not important, you are not Japanese. Considering the suffering inflicted on neighboring Asian countries by Japan is it so hard to call them the 'invasions' that they are rather than 'advances'? If Hiroshima and Nagasaki are war crimes then surely Japan's wartime actions are also crimes, why is it so easy for Japanese people to acknowledge A-bomb victims and so hard to acknowledge Asian victims of Japan's wartime aggression? Simple, The A-bomb victims were Japanese and therefore important and the others were foreigner and therefore less than human and unimportant. That is the underlying fact that is hard to move beyond that for Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

sfjp330Oct. 19, 2012 - 07:57AM JST Japan has more of the same old issues that continues to repeat. As a group they show the intense racism underlying Japanese society. The real message of the war criminals being enshrined at Yakasuni is that no matter what you do, no matter how much suffering you inflict, if you have Japanese blood in your veins you are ok.

Believe it or same holds true for any nation. If you go live any where in the world and you are not from there people will not trust you. But, as time passes folks see you and get to trust you. When we were living in the states my wife felt racisim. I know because I had to straighten a few rednecks out a couple of times.

I have been living here for 4 going on 5 years and I have yet to feel any dislike, disdain or racism.

I also do not go around being rude to the citizens of Japan either, I show them respect because they show me respect. I have found that the Japanes are some of the most peaceful people in the world. Look at the crime rate, better than the US or Britain.

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avigatorOct. 19, 2012 - 06:20AM JST Japan welcomes the profits they make from their sales to the World, yet still live in their own shell.

Why?

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sfjp330Oct. 19, 2012 - 07:57AM JST Japan has more of the same old issues that continues to repeat. As a group they show the intense racism >underlying Japanese society.

In the last weeks we've been reading stories of how innocent Japanese people hae been attacked in China for simply being Japanese. And there have been no similar reports of innocent Chinese being assaulted in Japan. So where do you come up with statements like that?

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BTW - what's with that halloween costume on the guy in the front? Grand Wizard?

HEY! Not funny, BurakuminDesu!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Why couldn't they paste of photo of their miko (shrine maidens) instead? It'd be less angering.

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big deal. i went in there twice myself!

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SaketownOCT. 18, 2012 - 10:36PM JST Ok, China, South Korea, and North Korea Pay attention to what I am about to State:

Those 14 War Criminals where tried, convicted, and HANGED by their Necks until they where "Dead" by U.S. Occupational Forces post WW2.

The rest of the Names at Yasukuni Shrine were common Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen who where drafted by their Imperialist Government at that time and where forced to Fight Until Their Death during that nightmare called "The War In The Pacific"

.

The United States Bombed every Major City including Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Kobe, AND 2 Atomic Bombs were unleashed on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Also, every Farm and Village that potentially could have been a supply depot for Rice and Weapons were also Bombed and Rocketed by U.S. Warplanes.

The Japanese PAID AN EXTENSIVE Price for their War Mongering. There are No Apologies Necessary and they have the rights and privileges to Honor their War Dead.

BUMP'd

0 ( +1 / -1 )

think it is pretty simple..Germans understands the crimes the Nazis committed during WWII especially the mass murder of Jews at Holocaust and etc therefore the Germans would never build a Memorial honoring or praying for the spirits of Hitler and Nazi class 1 war criminals. However the Japanese government has never came to terms with their history and the crimes committed by these class 1 criminals such as the Nanjing Massacre, Asian sex salves and etc. And they fail to understand that their annual visit to the shrine honoring these criminals shows a denial of history and the crimes committed...And open up old wounds especially for the Chinese who witnessed the mass murder and rape of young girls and women in Nanjing, Shenyang, and Shanghai..Some historians state that over 500,000 people were massacred in Nanjing along..

So its no wonder why the Chinese and the Koreans are passionate about their visits..

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

In case of Abe, however, it is clear that he was visiting the 14 AND with the purpose to gain more votes (unless he will publicly state otherwise). Thus, the Chinese reaction is justified.

Konsta,

If so, why go to Yasukuni when Abe could simple go here.

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

This is where they house the remains of the executed A-Class war criminals.

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nigelboyOct. 19, 2012 - 10:39PM JST If so, why go to Yasukuni when Abe could simple go here.

Oh, this is easy. Why do you even ask? Because Yasukuni is a symbol and not a simple shrine. It is a name known to everyone, and even to those who never have been in Japan, but simply read newspapers and follows the news. It is known to ALL Chinese, Koreans and many others sans none. Yasukuni is a symbol like Auschwitz and many others, when the name is of primary importance. Things like this are critical for publicity if one wants internal and foreign reaction alike.

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Gee Konsta.

One would think that if an individual is paying respects to the war criminals exclusively, one would go whether they house them exclusively. This sounds like...... COMMON SENSE??

You're too easy.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Correct that to.

One would think that if an individual is paying respects to the war criminals exclusively, one would go where they house them exclusively. This sounds like...... COMMON SENSE??

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JoeBigsOct. 19, 2012 - 07:35AM JST KonstaOct. 18, 2012 - 08:30PM JST We are not discussing the Yasukuni shrine and what is physically enshrined there, but the visit and its consequences. Stay on topic instead of fantasizing, and it will become less funny, and maybe even will make more sense. If you believe that then you have not read a single post. Most people here are speaking about how they themselves object to the shrine because they perceive it to be an evil place because 14 class A war criminal's names are there. Some folks even believe that these 14 are physically interned there. When the fact of the matter is that this place is all about paying ones respects for the people who laid down their lives in war. This place is just the same as any other war memorial museum. Every year every nation in the world pays respects to their war dead. Believe it or not every nation in the world has committed war crimes. The people committing these war crimes are sometimes forgotten on purpose. If Japan would of won the war they would have prosecuted people from other nations and done the same thing as the allied forces did. There is a couple old terms that say,"To the victor goes the spoils" and "he who wins the war writes the history." Hypocrisy is a mans best friend when it comes to war and the crimes committed during those wars.

I largely agree. I am not against Japanese politicians visiting this shrine. I do not accept (or like) that they do it without explanation of the purpose. You either do it and explain that you consider the war criminals to be protectors of Japan, much like they do it in Baltic states nowdays. Or, you visit it and pay tribute to the 2.5 million, but condemn the 14. Or, you don't visit it, like the Emperor does. As far as I am concerned, they can do whatever they want and deal with the consequences.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nigelboyOct. 20, 2012 - 05:05AM JST Correct that to. One would think that if an individual is paying respects to the war criminals exclusively, one would go where they house them exclusively. This sounds like...... COMMON SENSE??

Maybe. It is just I am convinced that paying respect was not their primary goal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe. It is just I am convinced that paying respect was not their primary goal.

Fine. For "votes" then? If so, why shouldn't a lawmaker act on the wishes of his/her constituents? That's their job to do so.

As JoeBig stated, there are two (sometimes the third in NK) the officially voice their opposition of Yasukuni on an year basis like clockwork. China and South Korea. China started theirs in August of 1985 after 20+ visits by PM after the enshrinement of Class A criminals. Therefore, it's clear that this "Yasukuni" symbol and the issues are something that they made up. As for S Korea, Japan doesn't know why they started complaining except they have been a slave state for China for so long that old habits are hard to break.

So, what we have here are a few cabinet ministers and lawmakers who rather answer to his/her constituents than that of whining from China and South Korea's goverment. Perhaps another goal that they want to relay is "we don't care what you think anymore".

0 ( +3 / -3 )

These people are trouble makers and seek to preserve their positions by way of portraying themselves as patriots through visiting this multivalent symbol nationalism.

Because Yasukuni is a symbol and not a simple shrine. It is a name known to everyone, and even to those who never have been in Japan, but simply read newspapers and follows the news. It is known to ALL Chinese, Koreans and many others sans none.

Abe, in particular, is from the class of oligarchs that arose out of the Meiji Restoration and guided Japan to disaster.

He hails from Yamaguchi prefecture, which was probably the most sociopathic constituency of the divide-and conquer militants that sought to portray the Edo Bakufu as illegitimate in terms of Shinto mythology, and the reason that America's black ships had been able to impose humiliating trade terms on the Japanese.

They created and exploited a cult of the emperor, represented by the slogan "revere the emperor, expel the barbarians"( 尊皇攘夷), and basically conducted a holy war against the Edo Bakufu on those terms.

Yasukuni Jina was established as a memorial for those that died in the fight against the Edo Bakufu to restore the emperor as sovereign, so it is a symbol that is laden with the "revere the emperor, expel the barbarians" cult of the emperor promoted by the so-called restorationists, which militated around the emperor as a symbol on the basis of which foreigners were to be expelled.

There is a fundamentally anti-foreign an exclusionary dimension to the symbolic import of the Yasukuni Jina.

In this case, China (and to a lesser extent, Korea) are serving as the foreign element that is the object to be expelled.

There have been plans floated to establish memorials to the war dead that are not controversial, and don't try to appropriate the emperor as a symbol associated with xenophobic militaristic nationalism.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What can be the problem with considering reversing an apology that was never acknowledged or accepted in the first place.

Some people are just impossible to please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

[Forgetting the 14 war criminals that are enshrined there. There's 2.5 million war dead who should be respected and neither China or South Korea have the right to tell us what we can and can't do on our own shores]

Don't forget 9/11. The American will NEVER forget 9/11 of that notorious Chief Terrorist and so does China and South Korea will NEVER forget those Japanese NOTORIOUS war criminals..

Those Class A war criminals should not enshrined inside the Yasukuni shrine including those Class B-C. They are all CRIMINALS like the Terrorist chief should thrown and buried under the sea.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

China and S Korea have no right to say anything about the shrine. They themselves pay respect to their own dead, and this shrine represents 2.5 million dead, many of whom ARE NOT war criminals. Only 14 convicted criminals are buried out of the 2.5 million. They're (China and S Korea) just using this as an excuse for Japan forgetting about their warcrimes as leverage. They say that the Japanese public do not acknowledge their past war crimes, but that is not true. Many Japanese people that I talk to are fully aware of what happened and the horrors and embarrassment that war period has caused, and that is why they do not ever want to talk about it again.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

[China and S Korea have no right to say anything about the shrine. They themselves pay respect to their own dead, and this shrine represents 2.5 million dead, many of whom ARE NOT war criminals. Only 14 convicted criminals are buried out of the 2.5 million. They're (China and S Korea) just using this as an excuse for Japan forgetting about their warcrimes as leverage. They say that the Japanese public do not acknowledge their past war crimes, but that is not true. Many Japanese people that I talk to are fully aware of what happened and the horrors and embarrassment that war period has caused, and that is why they do not ever want to talk about it again.]

Those 14 convicted Class A war criminals should not enshrined with those 2.5 millions. Don't forget those 14 Japanese war criminals included the B-C class should be buried under the sea or an isolated places. They are not hero but war criminals. Educate yourself what is the meaning of ATROCITIES against HUMANITIES. Like those Terrorist.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Right. I have educated myself with what a war criminal does. However I never said anything about them deserving some sort of honor did I? No I didn't I said that OUT OF THE 2.5 MILLION BURIED THERE ARE 14 WAR CRIMINALS. That DOESNT MEAN that that shrine commemorates DEAD WAR CRIMINALS OR TERRORIST. There just happens to be a few who are convicted out of the millions who died who are buried in that shrine. LEARN to read and interpret someone's opinions before saying something. :]

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This could all be solved by removing the names of the convicted criminals enshrined there.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It still is rather distasteful of ministers visiting a place which enshrines men who brought horrific suffering to East and South East Asia some decades ago. The koreans and chinese have every right to be offended, I'm sure there's Filipinos who feel the same way.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The 14 class 1 war criminals were responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent Chinese, Koreans lives therefore I don't understand why Japanese government would even consider including these criminals names in the memorial..its insulting..The problem is that the Japanese government do not fully take responsibility for the war crimes..

Do you see Germany adding the names of Hitler and the Nazi war criminals on any war memorial..

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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