politics

61 lawmakers visit Yasukuni Shrine

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By Kazuhiro Nogi

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pacint

More fool me. I thought otherwise.

Thanks.

Seems a tad easier now if all that's needed is some liquid paper.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Tokyo is also seeking warmer ties with Beijing and Seoul amid global concern over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

So why...?!

8 ( +20 / -12 )

This doesn't help in resolving NK problems.

8 ( +21 / -13 )

For the final time there are no remains or ashes at Yasukuni, J-Gov has been asking for years to have the named removed from the scrolls but the Head priest refuses each time.

J-Gov can't order them to do so.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

So why is visiting Yasukuni an issue for some people? and once again ill post the reason the Shrine is used as a political tool and not a religious one. The head priest who enshrined these criminals did it purely as his ideological agenda.

A Head Priest’s Ideological Agenda

The impasse continued until Tsukuba’s sudden death in March 1978. Matsudaira Nagayoshi (1915–2005) was installed as head priest in July that year.

It is worth going over Matsudaira Nagayoshi’s background. His grandfather, Matsudaira Yoshinaga (1828–90), was the feudal lord of the Fukui domain. In the last days of the Tokugawa shogunate, Yoshinaga called for a merger of the shogunate and the imperial court. After the shogunate fell, he was granted a position inside the new Meiji government. Matsudaira’s father, Yoshitami (1882–1948), was the last minister of the Imperial Household. Matsudaira himself was a lieutenant commander in the Imperial Navy during World War II and an officer in the Self-Defense Forces after World War II. His father-in-law, Daigo Tadashige, was a vice admiral in the Imperial Navy. He was tried by the Dutch after the war, convicted of Class B and C war crimes, and executed by rifle shot. He is listed among the war dead honored at Yasukuni Shrine.*(6)**

Matsudaira unequivocally rejected the verdict of the tribunal and argued that the Tokyo Trials had produced a distorted view of history that cast Japan as the sole villain. He was determined from the outset to enshrine Japan’s Class A war criminals at Yasukuni. This was part of an ideological crusade to discredit the Tokyo Trials. Once appointed, he moved quickly. In a secret ceremony on October 17, 1978—just three months after becoming head priest—he enshrined all 14, including Matsuoka and Nagano.*(7)**

When the story broke in April the following year, the public reaction was relatively muted. But controversy erupted with a vengeance six years later, when Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro became the first postwar prime minister to pay homage at the shrine in an official capacity. When Nakasone and his cabinet visited Yasukuni on August 15, 1985 to mark the fortieth anniversary of the end of World War II, the visit unleashed a storm of criticism from Japan’s Asian neighbors. The next year Nakasone agreed not to visit the shrine in deference to the views of Chinese leader Hu Yaobang. From that time on, visits by cabinet officials to Yasukuni Shrine have been a hot-button issue, drawing intense criticism from abroad and stymying diplomatic progress between Japan and its neighbors.

The ultimate source of this ongoing conflict was the enshrinement of Class A war criminals in 1978. And the enshrinement of this group cannot be attributed simply to religious or filial impulses. In fact, it was a blatantly ideological and political act driven by an urge to justify and legitimize a highly controversial chapter in Japanese history.

https://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/a02404/

8 ( +19 / -11 )

"The ultimate source of this ongoing conflict was the enshrinement of Class A war criminals in 1978."

That's why Emperor Hirohito boycotted the shrine after 1978 and why his son has maintained the boycott.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Yasukuni's similarity to Arlington is only in that both are memorials for soldiers.

We don't bury war criminals in Arlington.

Demonstrably false. Jacob "KILL EVERYONE OVER TEN" H. Smith was court-martialed and interred at Arlington. Dudley Walker Morton is another example of a war criminal enshrined at Arlington.

Arlington enshrines war criminals and glorifies a series of military conquests that have killed over 50-55 million innocent people and enslaved many others to serve an empire that considers itself "one Nation under God."

Arlington is not merely about remembrance. It's a place where war criminals are enshrined and glorifies conquests that killed over 50-55 innocent million people. THERE lies the problem.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

There is an easy fix to this. Remove the "class A" bad guys and put them some other place, where those inclined can visit if they wish.

Then the PM and anyone else for that matter can pay respect to those who died fighting for what they believed was an honourable cause.

Our leaders should...nay, must pay respect to those who made the ultimate sacrifice!

6 ( +14 / -8 )

Smoke and an excreted matter from a male cow, they knew exactly what they were doing. Honouring the poor boys who were killed in a war started by their grandfathers. Now to honour their genetic tree they thumb their noses at the world. And act "suprised" when no one understands why. Um... My grandfather ordered the starvation of POWS and bizarrely his own troops, now gets burnt bits of his body honoured. The fact that 61 political leaders buy into to this is probably the most telling. ah Japan. Good job.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

@socrateos

Right back at you. Your imagination does not refute those who go to make a political statement and show of allegiance.

Not all of them, but some. If these politicians want to prey for peace and not make the same mistake, why not go to any of the other shrines not tied to revisionist groups? You're the one "imagining" their good intentions. Our opinions are based on facts and observations.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

I knew that when Abe sent Xi a letter of invitation recently, something like this will happen. It's pretty much a standard operating procedure by now.

There is an easy fix to this. Remove the "class A" bad guys and put them some other place, where those inclined can visit if they wish.

But that makes too much sense.....(except for the notion that there should be a place where people can pay respects to war criminals. If that's the case, then why bother removing them from the Yasukuni Shrine? That's partly what the shrine is for.)

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Removal of particular souls is impossible in Shinto. They’re either there, or they’re not....

4 ( +8 / -4 )

"....Abe and other nationalists say Yasukuni is merely a place to remember fallen soldiers, and compare it with Arlington National Cemetery in the United States....."

Hardly. Yasukuni's similarity to Arlington is only in that both are memorials for soldiers.

The histories are completely different and while Arlington is a public place, Yasukuni is a private establishment.

Also Arlington is  the place of the "tomb of the unknown soldier(s)" and in that sense the only logical comparison in Japan is the Chidorigafuchi cemetry also housing the "tombs of the unknown soldier".

Most ordinary citizens attend Yasukuni to pay their respects, but I believe Most politicians attend Yasukuni as a means to trumpet their values to garner support from like-minded bods. If these politicians hearts were really interested in the souls of the dead soldiers, why do they need to go on an arranged photo-shoot op to do so.

Why not pray privately/ Because no brownie points then.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

There is an easy fix to this. Remove the "class A" bad guys and put them some other place, where those inclined can visit if they wish. oh no that wont do, then these fools cant visit these class A criminals under the guise that they're praying for Japans war dead.

3 ( +15 / -12 )

There is an easy fix to this. Remove the "class A" bad guys and put them some other place, where those inclined can visit if they wish.

This will never happen because the Class A war criminals are only a symptom of the problem; that the shrine is irrevocably tied to the openly revisionist and nationalist wing of the Japanese right.

3 ( +11 / -8 )

BISharma - international law has nuffink to do with it. I can protest against - for arguments sake - the gun laws that are legal in US - as is my right. I can commment on Yasukuni as is my right in a democracy. Japan is democratic isn't it???

And as I have stated on these pages before, I know quite a few Japanese folks who oppose the ideology of Yasukuni and fear of unwanted attention only stops them from being brave and asserting themselves against Yasukuni.

All Japanese don't think alike. Many, many have common sense and can see thru the thinly veiled lies.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

JeffLeeToday 05:43 am JSTWe don't bury war criminals in Arlington.

That's basically true. America's actions in WW2 were aimed at bringing a swift end to the war, at a time when people of various nationalities were being killed at a rate of 50,00 a week. Japan's actions were aimed at sustaining and even enlarging this war. Big, Big difference.

America's military mostly gets involved in regions where the local people are already embroiled in killing and conflict. Japan's wartime adventure involved invasion and conquests of places that were mostly peaceful and even prosperous - like Singapore and Hong Kong - at the time. Big, big difference.

Putting the Allies and Axis on equivalent moral ground underscores a fundamental ignorance of history.

"Killing Japanese didn't bother me very much at that time... I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal"

"There are no innocent civilians. It is their government and you are fighting a people, you are not trying to fight an armed force anymore. So it doesn't bother me so much to be killing the so-called innocent bystanders."

Curtis Lemay, General USAF, architect of indiscriminate bombing of cities and civilian centers after all military targets had already been destroyed in WWII.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

So why is visiting Yasukuni an issue for some people?

in germany now, a nazi salute can mean 3 months in prison. Why? because what hitler and co did to Slavs, blacks, gays, russians and others was unforgivable. these lawmakers probably don't give a monkeys about the war dead (cannon fodder), they care about worshiping the colonial era Nippon that invaded china and Korea and the phillippines, murdering and rapeing at will.

@maybeperhaps. you are so correct. simple answer to a difficult question. it is like red light districts, don't put them next to schools. many japanese died, there is no reason to put class A war criminals next to these poor souls.

2 ( +13 / -11 )

This visits to Yasukuni is good in that it'll guarantee that the extreme brutality of Imperial Japan will never ever be forgotten .

On the other hand it's bad cause it'll da-kine kinda transfer Japan's evil beast of the past not only to the present but also taint the future generations without them even knowing about it whether they like it or not.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Abe and other nationalists say Yasukuni is merely a place to remember fallen soldiers, and compare it with Arlington National Cemetery in the United States...

So why is visiting Yasukuni an issue for some people?

We don't bury war criminals in Arlington.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

More anti-Korean/Chinese provocation from Japan.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Some politicians would like it to be more than that; others feel bullied into falling into line and visiting, even if they do not actually feel good about it in their hearts. These 14 names should be given a temporary leave of absence, and placed in another respected shrine where the gods will watch over them until such time as we humans can sort out our petty squabbles.

I think this is an interesting thought but I have some disagreement over some issues. This is a difficult matter because there are some politicians obviously trying to score political points by visiting the shrine. Even if these politicians were to do this, no country has the right to tell them that they are not allowed to visit. Some politicians that visit the shrine may also have relatives that were interred in Yasukuni. They should have every right to visit, even if they did it within their political capacity, since they may believe that politicians should honor their veterans. They may lose voters who may take offense that an elected official refuses to honor those that have lost their lives for their country, or worst yet, decided that it wasn't worth upsetting people from another country. In the end, there may be scumbag politicians taking advantage of this shrine for their personal benefit and those that are there to honor their veterans.

Also, it is interesting how people think that moving the war criminals to a different location is a simple solution. How about if Christians acknowledge that Jesus is not the son of God. Perhaps that would placate the Muslims for the bloodshed during the crusades. The point being made is that it's not that simple to just change religious aspects just because other's don't like it.

Plus, the issue of war criminals based on victor's justice is opening up a pandora's box that can take another couple of paragraphs to discuss.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Simon,

Even so, that would still be a case for Japanese citizens to bring a case against the politicians and not by other countries.

The Constitution separates politics from religion so politicians have no business worshipping at private religious institutions like Yasukuni in an official capacity. 

A complete separation of church and state is near impossible as it is difficult to prove the defendant's intent. Not only that, the first amendment will also have to be factored into if the issue regarding the "prohibiting the free exercise thereof" of any religion. Some issues to consider includes whether paying respect to the fallen spirits that happened to be enshrined in Yasukuni be arguably secular and not go so far as religious worshiping? Especially so if that is the only place to be able to pay respects to (Chidorigafuchi cemetery does not suffice since it is created for the unidentified war dead).

I'm not well versed in this subject but it still doesn't change the fact that other nations cannot forbid politicians from visiting the shrine.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

every one entitled to their point of view, but can not limited one's freedom.

don't see why japanese can not visit the shrine.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

61 wombats they should be named and shamed, they are lording the past at the expense of the future.

1 ( +18 / -17 )

And when SK and China protest (among other countries who know these nutbags are worshipping war criminals) they'll ask "Why doesn't everyone love us?" again. When NK does something provocative in response, they'll say "Why us?"

kazestsukai: "Sad that foreign countries, its people and politicians make an issue of something which if they were as the victors were to do would not be even considered a problem."

And yet you care VERY much when SK erects a statue in order to never forget the victims or war atrocities. Hmmm... Hypocrisy anyone?

1 ( +14 / -13 )

"... those who actually go to the shrine to pray for peace and to offer pledge not to make the same mistake."

A place that glorifies war and conquest (visit its museum and you'll see what I mean) and honours the architects of a war that killed 30 million people is the last place to go "to pray for peace."

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Quite true. One big difference is that soldiers' bodies are buried in Arlington. Abe is shooting himself in the foot by comparing the two.

Yasukuni is more like a memorial wall in nature, just lists of names of those who died fighting for or defending Japan.

Some politicians would like it to be more than that; others feel bullied into falling into line and visiting, even if they do not actually feel good about it in their hearts. These 14 names should be given a temporary leave of absence, and placed in another respected shrine where the gods will watch over them until such time as we humans can sort out our petty squabbles.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

What does “enshrine” even mean anyway?

Try and zoom out a little. Everyone’s a victim of war in one way or another; from the Korean and Asian sex slaves to the Japanese Class A War Criminals, from the Chinese human guinea pig experiments of Unit 731 to those who died in the Atomic experiment of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Everyone loses.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

All Japanese must visit YASUKUNI in large numbers

No, they must follow their Emperor and boycott it.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Removal of particular souls is impossible in Shinto. They’re either there, or they’re not... thats the whole reason why Korea/China get angry , the class A war criminals should never had been enshrined, it was only a head priest personal ideology (previous priest rightly refused enshrinement) in that his father-in-law was a convicted war criminal and he refused the Tokyo trials verdicts. Any J politician that visits the shrine is seen as justification of this head priests actions, and in agreement with his ideology. Its just convenient that they can use "pray for Japans war dead" as a cover for their true intentions.

0 ( +10 / -10 )

dcog9065Today  12:49 pm JST

Well within their rights do so and good on them!

As private citizens, yes. As elected legislators, no.

Visits to Yasukuni are not "controversial" in any sense whatsoever, and in fact it is a duty of the government to honour its nation's war dead. 

So where does it say all that in the Japanese Constitution?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Japan now have an excuse to ignore S. Korea.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

We don't bury war criminals in Arlington.

This gives credence to what the Japanese believe: that the Tokyo Tribunals were unfair. You, like most Americans, take it for granted that America has no war criminals, that America can and only has done good. You say Arlington doesn't have any war criminals; the Japanese say Yasukuni doesn't have any war criminals. Who's right? We all know that the victor of a war is always right, no matter how wrong they may have been.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The Constitution separates politics from religion so politicians have no business worshipping at private religious institutions like Yasukuni in an official capacity. 

Japanese constitution guarantees religions freedom to everyone regardless of race, gender, or job title. It's a fundamental human right. Therefore, right of visiting the shrine is guaranteed to those who have jobs in politics or any fields.

Japanese government does not send anybody to Yasukuni Shrine. There is no laws or rules that require politicians to visit the shrine. Those politicians who visit the shrine do so out of their own wish.

I have no interest in visiting Yasukuni Shrine but I have no problem if anybody want to do so. I respect their rights.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Yumster100, quote: "Some politicians that visit the shrine may also have relatives that were interred in Yasukuni. " and: "Also, it is interesting how people think that moving the war criminals to a different location is a simple solution."

No-one is/was interred in Yasukuni. There are no bodies there to move anywhere.

It's just a list of names.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

socrateosToday  09:48 am JST

The Constitution separates politics from religion so politicians have no business worshipping at private religious institutions like Yasukuni in an official capacity. 

"Japanese constitution guarantees religions freedom to everyone regardless of race, gender, or job title. It's a fundamental human right. Therefore, right of visiting the shrine is guaranteed to those who have jobs in politics or any fields."

Who ever said politicians couldn't go in a strictly private capacity? I didn't.

Yumster100Today  09:32 am JST

A complete separation of church and state is near impossible as it is difficult to prove the defendant's intent.

When Diet members go to the shrine in large numbers and appear to make no effort to avoid media attention, I would have thought the intent was fairly obvious. There would be no ambiguity at all if they restricted themselves to visits with family members in their own time and did not draw any attention to their activities. I respect their right to follow any religion they like at any place they like, but I see that as their personal business and no one else's. Anything else looks a lot like political activity.

Not only that, the first amendment will also have to be factored into if the issue regarding the "prohibiting the free exercise thereof" of any religion.

Sorry, would you mind clarifying that? I understand the Constitution of Japan has never had any amendments, and that Article 1 relates to the position of the Emperor. Where is the section you are referring to?

Article 19. Freedom of thought and conscience shall not be violated.

Article 20. Freedom of religion is guaranteed to all. No religious organization shall receive any privileges from the State, nor exercise any political authority.

No person shall be compelled to take part in any religious act, celebration, rite or practice.

The State and its organs shall refrain from religious education or any other religious activity.

These articles suggest to me that politicians aren't quite as free as everyone else when it comes to religious matters, although they can do whatever they like off the clock.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

JeffLeeToday 03:49 pm JST@OssanAmerica

".....indiscriminate bombing of cities and civilian centers after all military targets had already been destroyed in WWII."

Japan would have never surrendered if Tokyo and its other major cities were left functioning and intact.

So that justifies deliberately killing civilians? At least Gen. Lemay had the integrity to admit that it was a war crime. The point here is that anyone who actually studies some history can see there is no clear line between us the good guys and them the bad guys. Which in turn brings us to the question that was raised when the Nuremburg and Tokyo Trials were talking place. Do the victors have the right to try the defeated, all while excluding themselves from the same charges that they were prosecuting. Most nations understand that there is this "issue" and do not pursue the point. The five Allied victors were the U.S., U.K., France, USSR (Now Russia) and Republic of China (now Taiwan). None of these countries make an issue of Yasukuni or visitations. Only the Peoples Republic of China(PRC) which did not exist until 5 years after WWII ended and South Korea, which was part of the Japanese Empire during WWII make an issue of it. Yasukuni has been visited by foreign leaders as well as US military officers. However it had become a Political Tool used to attempt to break apart the US-JPN military and strategic alliance.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@OssanAmerica

So that justifies deliberately killing civilians? 

In the circumstances, yes. It was part of a strategy that effectively hastened the end of the war that ultimately saved lives, ie the 50,000 people in Asia who were being killed each week in the spring of 45 in a "total war" the Japanese started and were determined to continue....until their cities were reduced to rubble.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

JeffLeeToday 06:20 am JST@OssanAmerica

So that justifies deliberately killing civilians? 

In the circumstances, yes. It was part of a strategy that effectively hastened the end of the war that ultimately saved lives, ie the 50,000 people in Asia who were being killed each week in the spring of 45 in a "total war" the Japanese started and were determined to continue....until their cities were reduced to rubble.

You are continuing to attempt to justify the deliberate targeting and killing of civilians, as if somehow doing so does not make it a war crime. Whether it was justified or not is irrelevant, after all General LeMay himself knew it was a war crime and said so. The point here is that one cannot make grandstanding speeches about how wonderful and holy "we" were and how evil and inhuman "they" were. One needs to look at the post WWII war crimes trials in this light, the role the Yasukuni Shrine plays in Japanese culture, and the propaganda war that China and it's J-hating South Korean proxies continue to carry out against the US-JPN alliance.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No-one is/was interred in Yasukuni. There are no bodies there to move anywhere.

It's just a list of names.

@ nandakandamanda

You're right, I knew that no bodies are buried at Yasukuni but I meant it as the spirits that are enshrined there. Interred is not a good word to use.

Sorry, would you mind clarifying that? I understand the Constitution of Japan has never had any amendments, and that Article 1 relates to the position of the Emperor. Where is the section you are referring to?

@Simon

Whatever the Japanese equivalent of "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Sorry, I assumed you were from the US.

Also, it seems only Article 20 seems to be relevant to this issue: The State and its organs shall refrain from religious education or any other religious activity as you bolded out.

When politicians visit Yasukuni, they are asked whether they came to visit as personal or state visit. Since there are no contentions regarding personal visit, we can eliminate that aspect. Assuming, that they sign in via official capacity, such visit itself may not violate the article. I've mentioned previously how honoring the dead by visiting the shrine may arguably be interpreted as secular in nature. The nature of the visit (to honor the veterans) at a shrine cannot automatically be considered a religious act by a state actor. One must determine why the state actor is visiting a religious institution, what actions are taken while the person is at the place, etc. One way the US scrutinizes the constitutional issue based on religion is the use of Lemon test and Japan's court may use some other method tailored to their Constitution and this issue. Ultimately, it is for Japan's Highest Court to determine this issue that must be brought out by the Japanese citizens. I say again, it is a difficult matter but it is certainly correct to say that the neighboring countries cannot forbid politicians from visiting.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yumster100Today  07:37 am JST

I say again, it is a difficult matter but it is certainly correct to say that the neighboring countries cannot forbid politicians from visiting.

Well, of course not. Who said they could? How could that even be possible? I said they don't have to as the Constitution of Japan has articles concerning the matter. However just as Japanese politicians are within their rights to preach about what's happening in North Korea, China and elsewhere, so should politicians in other countries feel free to comment on developments in Japan that may adversely affect relations. Naturally no one in Japan needs to pay any attention should they choose not to do so.

When politicians visit Yasukuni, they are asked whether they came to visit as personal or state visit. Since there are no contentions regarding personal visit, we can eliminate that aspect. Assuming, that they sign in via official capacity, such visit itself may not violate the article.

Can you cite any instances of politicians signing in in an official capacity?

I've mentioned previously how honoring the dead by visiting the shrine may arguably be interpreted as secular in nature.

I'll believe the visits are purely secular when there's no bell ringing, clapping, praying and sanctimonious cant about the souls of the war dead, but I think that would run contrary to the "let's return to State Shinto and restore the divinity of the Emperor" line that I suspect many of these politicians follow to score points with Nippon Kaigi and other influential war veterans' associations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yumster100Today  04:13 am JST

So far, it is not absolute like how you want it to be interpreted since the Highest Court did not rule any verdict on whether the politicians act of paying respect to the fallen constitute a violation of such principle. Differing and competing legal views on the same subject is for the Court to decide, so you are wrong there.

I wasn't aware that anything a court decides is automatically and objectively right. I have noticed, however, that court decisions tend to coincide with politicians' interests, as in the case of rulings on the unconstitutionality of vote value disparities, so I do not feel as if their verdicts count for much one way or the other.

I will support any politicians that pays their respects to the fallen who fell fighting for their country since the politicians are supposed to serve the people's interest.

As will I, if they're doing it in a manner similar to the German Chancellor at the Holocaust Memorial or British politicians at November 11th Remembrance events, or if they're doing so in absolute privacy with every effort made to avoid media fanfare - which should be easy enough as I'm sure other famous and important individuals visit the shrine and we never hear about it. Anything else to me looks like a shameless and cynical exploitation of religious practices to help them get re-elected and I do not see anything respectful about it.

Since the Court did not specifically rule on this issue, they have not technically violated the Constitution.

If I commit a crime and do not get caught, it does not make me innocent.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mtuffiziToday  07:45 am JST

every one entitled to their point of view, but can not limited one's freedom.

don't see why japanese can not visit the shrine.

Of course they can. However I think to avoid making it look like they're sincere and not only interested in getting votes from elderly right-wingers, politicians should only go in private with no publicity, just like everyone else.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry, to make it look like they're sincere, I meant.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yumster100Today  03:12 am JST

I don't know why you referred to the Constitutional principal of Separation of Church and State if you don't care much about how the Court will rule in one way or another. You just wasted my time if that was the case.

I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. I think you'll find that people don't care much for being told they're "wrong" because of whatever a court has or has not ruled.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm not going to lose any sleep over it. I think you'll find that people don't care much for being told they're "wrong" because of whatever a court has or has not ruled.

You're misinterpreting my intentions. You believe that a politician visiting Yasukuni in their official capacity is an absolute violation to which I argued against. I said it may or may not be but cannot be concluded since there was no ruling over the action. Hence, I said it is a difficult issue since there are many issues that needs to be addressed.

What is absolutely wrong is how you are trying to blow off the judicial process by ignoring whatever the court ruling is because you don't care. People might not agree with a ruling but the judicial function is to interpret the law when there are differing views. By negating this function, there was nothing more to discuss since it's "my way or the highway."

If I commit a crime and do not get caught, it does not make me innocent.

Thank goodness you're not a cop. By your logic, you would arrest the individual without giving him due process because you believe he is guilty and forgo the judicial process because it is "corrupt."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yumster100Dec. 9  09:30 pm JST

You're misinterpreting my intentions. You believe that a politician visiting Yasukuni in their official capacity is an absolute violation to which I argued against. I said it may or may not be but cannot be concluded since there was no ruling over the action.

Obviously there is never going to be one as no politician is ever going to be stupid enough to do something flagrantly unconstitutional and get into that kind of trouble. Even if there ever were, do you honestly think it would be universally accepted? People will always continue to hold their own views, no matter what a court says.

What is absolutely wrong is how you are trying to blow off the judicial process by ignoring whatever the court ruling is because you don't care.

I see no need for one. The Constitution is clear enough on the matter. I have never heard of politicians visiting Yasukuni for anything other than religious purposes, private or otherwise. Whatever "secular" reasons you think there might be them to go I cannot begin to imagine. Can you cite any examples?

"If I commit a crime and do not get caught, it does not make me innocent."

Thank goodness you're not a cop. By your logic, you would arrest the individual without giving him due process because you believe he is guilty and forgo the judicial process because it is "corrupt."

Who's misinterpreting now? By MY logic, I could not suspect, let alone arrest anyone who was guilty of a crime if I did not know about it, and if I did suspect I could not proceed with any charges without sufficient evidence. So the guilty person would get away.

I suspect in this case, though, these politicians are keeping everything unofficial and claiming to visit as private citizens - thus sticking to the letter of the Constitution but violating the spirit. You admitted yourself some of them might just be going for the "brownie points." I think they all are if they can't be discreet about it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I see no need for one. The Constitution is clear enough on the matter.

Thanks for clarifying my point of "my way or the highway." You leave no room for differences in legal interpretation of the Constitution, disregard any ruling that the Highest Court may conclude, and totally disregard my examples of possible issues that the Court should consider.

By MY logic, I could not suspect, let alone arrest anyone who was guilty of a crime if I did not know about it, and if I did suspect I could not proceed with any charges without sufficient evidence. So the guilty person would get away.

If I commit a crime and do not get caught, it does not make me innocent.

Huh? You are the one who is claiming that the politicians are GUILTY of violating the Constitution irrespective of what the Court may determine. In the bizarre instance that you gave above, the person becomes a criminal AFTER the court/jury rules that a person has violated the crime; they weigh all evidence presented based on beyond a reasonable doubt standard. In other words, the police would arrest an individual based on the police's interpretation of what he/she believes the individual broke the law which is the purpose of the Executive branch (notice how the person is not a criminal yet). The court will then interpret the law and will rule whether the person broke the law or not which is the judiciary branch.

By MY logic, I could not suspect, let alone arrest anyone who was guilty of a crime if I did not know about it,

Judging from this sentence, you are the police officer who is part of the Executive branch. The Judicial branch would determine whether that person was guilty of a crime.

and if I did suspect I could not proceed with any charges without sufficient evidence.

Yes and no. Police arrest people all the time based on their belief that the person committed a crime. Whether there was sufficient evidence to convict the person as guilty is determined by....the court. Sometimes there was sufficient evidence for the person to be convicted guilty (at which their actions will now be objectively considered illegal) or at times there was no sufficient evidence for the person to be found guilty (where person is objectively declared that his action was not illegal).

Having said all of this, notice that the politicians' visit will be a CIVIL MATTER and not a criminal one. Thus, the analogy is already incorrect to begin with. Most importantly, the defendant can still be found innocent based on noncompliance of criminal procedure as well as many other factors whereas the civil court will directly address the issue at hand. It really is apples to oranges.

But to break it down:

You: the politicians violated the Constitutional principle of Separation of Church and State because of X, Y and Z. (Your interpretation of the Constitution)

Me: I don't think the violation occurred because X, Y and Z may not amount to a religious activity based on the Constitution. (My interpretation of the Constitution). So far, this issue was never brought up to the Highest Court to determine whether X, Y and Z is a direct violation of the Constitution so our opinions cannot be stated as a fact.

You: Well, I don't care what the rulings will be since they are not trustworthy. The politicians are violating the Constitution.

Unless the politician's actions are brought up to the Court to determine whether or not it violated the Constitution, our opinions cannot be considered as a fact. This is my point.

I will not be discussing this issue any further since we are going around in circles and there is nothing much to be added. Also, I won't be available for the time being.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yumster100Today  07:12 am JST

I see no need for one. The Constitution is clear enough on the matter.

Thanks for clarifying my point of "my way or the highway." You leave no room for differences in legal interpretation of the Constitution, disregard any ruling that the Highest Court may conclude,

Didn't I point out that I don't think there are ever going to be any such rulings? Therefore I see no point in speculating as to what the courts might decide.

...and totally disregard my examples of possible issues that the Court should consider.

Come up with some better examples, then.

Huh? You are the one who is claiming that the politicians are GUILTY of violating the Constitution irrespective of what the Court may determine.

No. Try and read it properly, although I can see that might be a bit hard as you seem quite determined that Japanese politicians are right to visit the shrine under any circumstances. I do not think they are guilty of any technical violations that a court could rule on at the moment.

In the bizarre instance...

Is it really that hard to grasp? Imagine, then, I steal something from a shop. That's a punishable offence, isn't it? However no one ever suspects that I did it, so the police are never involved. In the eyes of the law I am "innocent" and no one can do a thing about it. The courts won't make any ruling because they can't. The same applies in this instance. It looks very much like these politicians are engaging in political and religious activities at the shrine, and they do so with all the fuss and fanfare one might expect of some kind of official visit - which you appear to think is okay as you have said they should represent their constituents' interests. However they can claim their right to freedom of expression and that they're only going as private citizens, which I daresay all the details will corroborate, so they can exploit all the ambiguity to do as they please.

Unless the politician's actions are brought up to the Court to determine whether or not it violated the Constitution, our opinions cannot be considered as a fact. This is my point.

So right now you have no grounds for saying that anyone else is "wrong." Although I suppose that if there is ever a ruling that politicians should stay away from Yasukuni Shrine you will have to accept that YOU are.

I will not be discussing this issue any further since we are going around in circles and there is nothing much to be added. Also, I won't be available for the time being.

Suits me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anyway. I accept that Japanese politicians are within their rights to visit Yasukuni in a strictly private capacity, even if they do make a mockery of the process with their grand theatrics and insult the people who died in the War. If a court ruled they could go even in an official capacity I wouldn't like it but I would accept that they were within their rights to do that too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So we read these day that Japan is trying to make better ties with china and now this WTF fossils.

-1 ( +12 / -13 )

Well, of course not. Who said they could? How could that even be possible? I said they don't have to as the Constitution of Japan has articles concerning the matter.

I am stating my position on this matter, not whether it is possible or not. Furthermore, I pointed out the possible issues regarding the article 20. So far, it is not absolute like how you want it to be interpreted since the Highest Court did not rule any verdict on whether the politicians act of paying respect to the fallen constitute a violation of such principle. Differing and competing legal views on the same subject is for the Court to decide, so you are wrong there.

I agree that other countries have the right to express displeasure over the visit. I never said that they cannot.

Can you cite any instances of politicians signing in in an official capacity?

Can you cite any instances of politicians signing in in an official capacity?

One controversy of political visits to the shrine is the constitutionality of visits by the Prime Minister. In the Japanese Constitution, the separation of state and religionis explicit. Because the clause was written for the express purpose of preventing the return of State Shintoism, many question the constitutionality of the Prime Minister visiting Yasukuni Shrine. Often the first question Japanese Prime Ministers are asked by journalists after a visit is, "Are you here as a private person or as Prime Minister?" In addition, whether the Prime Minister has signed the visitors' book indicating the position of signatory as shijin (私人, private person) or shushō (首相, Prime Minister) is diligently reported. All Prime Ministers have so far stated that their visit was private. However, although some leave the signature section blank or sign it as shijin, others sign it as shushō. The issue is somewhat different than that of visits by the German Chancellor to the Holocaust Memorial, which are explicitly made in the context of a state visit. Prime Minister Koizumi recently gave a somewhat cryptic answer, stating that he visited the shrine as Junichiro Koizumi, the Prime Minister of Japan. Some consider such statement as a move towards making visits somewhat official; others consider that it is pointing out that the whole issue of shijin vs shushō is somewhat meaningless. Some journals and news reports, such as one made by Kyodo News Agency on August 15, 2006, question whether in the case of Koizumi's visits, which are consistently claimed by Koizumi to be private, can be considered individual in nature when they are part of a campaign pledge, which in nature is political. Currently, most of the Japanese public and most jurists have agreed that there have been no constitutional violations yet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controversies_surrounding_Yasukuni_Shrine#Political_impact

I'll believe the visits are purely secular when there's no bell ringing, clapping, praying and sanctimonious cant about the souls of the war dead, but I think that would run contrary to the "let's return to State Shinto and restore the divinity of the Emperor" line that I suspect many of these politicians follow to score points with Nippon Kaigi and other influential war veterans' associations.

I don't agree with your view and vice versa. I will support any politicians that pays their respects to the fallen who fell fighting for their country since the politicians are supposed to serve the people's interest. As a non-religious individual, their actions are secular and does not violate the Constitution. Differing views and my view may or may not be correct depending on how the Court will interpret this issue. Since the Court did not specifically rule on this issue, they have not technically violated the Constitution.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I wasn't aware that anything a court decides is automatically and objectively right. I have noticed, however, that court decisions tend to coincide with politicians' interests, as in the case of rulings on the unconstitutionality of vote value disparities, so I do not feel as if their verdicts count for much one way or the other.

I was talking about the Constitutional legality of whether the state actor's visit violates the principle of Article 20. If the act violates the article, then it becomes illegal. I don't care if you think the court's verdict is right or wrong since that means nothing to most people and everyone will have a different opinion. But, the verdict will determine whether they can visit or not. If the Court determined that it is illegal and yet they proceed to do so anyways, they will violate the ruling and may suffer consequences from it. Also, sincerity doesn't mean much as it is difficult to gauge: how sincere is sincere enough? by who's standards? etc.

I don't know why you referred to the Constitutional principal of Separation of Church and State if you don't care much about how the Court will rule in one way or another. You just wasted my time if that was the case.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

so J lawmakers visit a shrine that honors class A war criminals, then there shouldn't be any complaints about Korean sex slave statues from these same fools

-2 ( +14 / -16 )

Sad that foreign countries, its people and politicians make an issue of something which if they were as the victors were to do would not be even considered a problem. It n;y happens to those that lose and battle or war or to those that are convenient to use as scapegoats for other issues completely unrelated or irrelevant.

Funny how the very people who preach religious freedom and equality are the very ones that condemn both, by either rhetoric, politics, or by physically enforcing a contrary agenda. If something does not fit one's definition or convenience then it is condemned.

One must remember, winning or losing a war, for both sides there are those who are respected and revered as have been a "hero" of sorts within that particular situation and environment. In the USA, many of the Confederate leaders are honored just as much. The only difference is in the manner a society gives that honor.

And... religious beliefes and practice in Japan honors everything and every being as spirits and enshrine them in such places which we call "shrines"... which Westerners and others that do not understand.., label as gods.

Think... all historical sites in Japan from temples, shrines and even castle sites are often considered shrines for spirits... they have everything from stones, to monleys, to himan beings...

And we all think of them as tourist sites today...

-2 ( +14 / -16 )

This will probably be North Korea's first target in Japan.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@OssanAmerica

".....indiscriminate bombing of cities and civilian centers after all military targets had already been destroyed in WWII."

Japan would have never surrendered if Tokyo and its other major cities were left functioning and intact.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Back on topic please.

Well within their rights do so and good on them!

Visits to Yasukuni are not "controversial" in any sense whatsoever, and in fact it is a duty of the government to honour its nation's war dead. The fake outrage and whining from China and SK is invalid

-3 ( +16 / -19 )

Goodlucktoyou

they care about worshiping the colonial era Nippon that invaded china and Korea and the phillippines, murdering and rapeing at will...

"Worshiping the colonial era" is your imagination, which cannot refute those who visit the shrine for peach and not to make the same mistake. Praying at the shrine, where "war criminals" are considered as "gods", does not necessarily mean approval of their actions.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Yumster100Today  07:32 am JST

This is a difficult matter because there are some politicians obviously trying to score political points by visiting the shrine. Even if these politicians were to do this, no country has the right to tell them that they are not allowed to visit.

No other country should have to. It's already in the Constitution.

Some politicians that visit the shrine may also have relatives that were interred in Yasukuni. They should have every right to visit, even if they did it within their political capacity, since they may believe that politicians should honor their veterans.

It does not matter what they believe. The Constitution separates politics from religion so politicians have no business worshipping at private religious institutions like Yasukuni in an official capacity. Maybe they should have the right, but they don't.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Arlington is not merely about remembrance. It's a place where war criminals are enshrined and conquests that killed over 50-55 innocent million people. THERE lies the problem.

What problem?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

We don't bury war criminals in Arlington.

That's basically true. America's actions in WW2 were aimed at bringing a swift end to the war, at a time when people of various nationalities were being killed at a rate of 50,00 a week. Japan's actions were aimed at sustaining and even enlarging this war. Big, Big difference.

America's military mostly gets involved in regions where the local people are already embroiled in killing and conflict. Japan's wartime adventure involved invasion and conquests of places that were mostly peaceful and even prosperous - like Singapore and Hong Kong - at the time. Big, big difference.

Putting the Allies and Axis on equivalent moral ground underscores a fundamental ignorance of history.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

wtfjapan

Shrine is used as a political tool and not a religious one.

You are shooting ghost of your own making. Your imagination does not refute those who actually go to the shrine to pray for peace and to offer pledge not to make the same mistake.

The head priest who enshrined these criminals did it purely as his ideological agenda...

You do not have to agree with all dogmas or past activities of your church when you worship. Rarely worshipers today agree everything your pastor or priest say. This is because faith is deeply personal.

-5 ( +10 / -15 )

Dear China & Korea,

Stopping wasting your time caring about Japan and this "controversial" shrine. All Japan has left to beat their chest over is their militaristic PAST.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

So I suppose the Koreans, Chinese and Filipinos can have their statues of sex slaves. All even! Of course, the Japanese politicians can try and erect a statue of Tojo Hideki in San Francisco.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Abe and other nationalists say Yasukuni is merely a place to remember fallen soldiers, and compare it with Arlington National Cemetery in the United States...

So why is visiting Yasukuni an issue for some people?

-8 ( +14 / -22 )

Ignore all protests from any quarter . All Japanese must visit YASUKUNI in large numbers No country has any right to protest at such visits to Yasukuni under any international law . Infact these protests are designed to lower the Ninjinga spirit of brave Japanese to make them submissive before their unjust protests. So be brave and assert yourselves fully without any fear in your country.

-11 ( +9 / -20 )

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