politics

85 lawmakers visit Yasukuni Shrine

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......here we go again, getting wrong, why aren't these suits going to Chidorigafuchi instead!!!

14 ( +19 / -5 )

Who finances this place? It better not be my taxes...

10 ( +17 / -7 )

Every nation has the right to honor their war dead.

-6 ( +20 / -26 )

Every nation has the right to honor their war dead.

And every other nation has the right to protest a shrine that whitewashes said war.

That's a blade that cuts both ways.

19 ( +28 / -9 )

The "nation" did not visit Yasukuni - 85 "lawmakers" did of their own volition (using our tax money ,too, without our permission). This tiresome ritual is more about the egos and self-importance of politicians and their 15 of minutes of swaggering and basking in public attention than about honoring the war-dead who were, after all, just cannon-fodder to the ruthless militarists and politicians who sent them to war.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

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

When American politicians visit Arlington, they just go ahead and do it quietly. They don't bring the cameras like these muppets do. Why not just visit the shrine quietly and privately?

If this was REALLY about honoring the war dead, then using them as a publicity stunt to infuriate Japan's neighbors and satisfy the Ult Right is more disrespectful to them than just staying away.

17 ( +22 / -5 )

Yasukuni shrine today is legally one of many religious organizations existing in Japan. It is a "private" religious group. I visited the shrine and found they justify the prewar Japanese militarism. It is OK if they think so since it is a private religious body. But it is not good the government members visit the shrine regularly as if Yasukuni has a special meaning to Japan. The War Dead Memorial Serivice on August 15 at Budokan is enough where the emperor and the prime minister attend.

18 ( +25 / -7 )

china and korea will never stop on this subject, why waste time to please them? oldman _13 - the person who respect others choice.

.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Japan is a free country. Yasukuni is a religion. Politicians have freedom of religion as well as other Japanese people.

-9 ( +12 / -21 )

Aly Rustom: "When American politicians visit Arlington, they just go ahead and do it quietly. They don't bring the cameras like these muppets do. Why not just visit the shrine quietly and privately?"

Exactly! These guys tell the media they are going, ask them to follow, go in suits and use transportation that is put aside for political purposes, go on the public's dime, and sign in in their official capacity -- then try to say it is a personal visit when it is anything but.

THAT is a PART of the problem.

15 ( +21 / -6 )

Claiming that you have the right to other people's religious faith and services is a much bigger problem in a free country like Japan.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

This is good news because it gives foreign people the chance to hear about the scary extreme nationalist religious cult (Nippon Kaigi) that these people belong to.

I think Japanese politicians should make clear to the world their beliefs in connection to this organization.

I think it is insincere of Japanese politicians to try to put on a fake friendly international face but at the same time belong to such a weird organization.

19 ( +25 / -6 )

They are public officials, and should be held accountable for public actions. The ruse that they are visiting as private citizens is simply a convenient fiction the media allows them to perpetuate. Publish their names.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

mtuffiziOCT. 18, 2016 - 12:24PM JST china and korea will never stop on this subject, why waste time to please them?

Regarding Japan’s attitudes towards China, let’s not forget the many billions in loan assistance which Japan has provided to China over many decades, and which China has eagerly taken to finance its development. It seems odd that China conveniently forgot past aggressions from Japan when billions of money was flowing its way. China’s continuing problems with its neighbors go far beyond its relations with Japan.

How time has changed. It may seem strange today but Mao Zedong discouraged public discourse about the Japanese invasion and waived reparations. During his reign, Nanking was far from becoming Chinese target for Japanese brutality. Why Japan became a easy target? This was when new communist leaders, transforming their country into a market economy, first began to face the problems of uneven growth, which included social unrest on a huge scale. Honoring the memories of Sino-Japanese War became main focus to the post-Cold War Chinese strategy of finding new foils internationally and fresh ideological legitimacy at home.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

@ anotherexpat Are you saying American President shouldn't go to a Christian church because he is a public official? Or current London city major who is an Islam, should not go to a mosque because some Islams are terrorists?

Japan is a free country like US or UK. public officials too have freedom of religion.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Shut Yasukuni down! No platform for hate!

3 ( +12 / -9 )

@jj1067

They can go to any church of any religion they want. But if they go to one that denies the Holocaust or white washes history, they better expect criticism.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

"Shut the Christian churches down! No platform for hate!" "Shut the Mosques down! No platform for terrorism!"

yeah, sounds familiar. But Japan is a free country we will NEVER SHUT DOWN FREEDOM OF RELIGION.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

Japan is a free country. Yasukuni is a religion. Politicians have freedom of religion as well as other Japanese people.

You are right about Japan being a free country, BUT Yasukuni is not a "religion", Yasukuni is a place that symbolizes the war history of Japan.

Yes people have a freedom of religion, and paying their respects is their business.

BUT why crap on the feelings of your neighbors when you are an elected politician? Why do something that you obviously know will cause outrage and build distrust at a time when working together for the betterment of the region and world?

The answer; because they are all acting like arrogant children who need a good spanking!

These politicians basked in the glory of hearing Japan being called the "nation of hospitality" and yet their actions are a slap in the face to ALL Japan and ALL Japanese and just goes to prove that おもてなし is to these politicians BS.

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Aly Rustom: "When American politicians visit Arlington, they just go ahead and do it quietly. They don't bring the cameras like these muppets do. Why not just visit the shrine quietly and privately?"

smithinjapan: Exactly! These guys tell the media they are going, ask them to follow, go in suits and use transportation that is put aside for political purposes, go on the public's dime, and sign in in their official capacity -- then try to say it is a personal visit when it is anything but.

???

Photo set and vid of the Obamas at Arlington. The first photo is marked 'Official White House Photo' (at the first link). The vid is marked 'AP'.

https://theobamadiary.com/2011/09/10/

https://theobamadiary.com/2011/09/10/respects-5/

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Every nation has the right to honor their war dead

Sure! Agree! If only that were TRUE wrt yasukuni, clearly it is NOT

yasukuni is about war criminal worship, these politicians don't care about the 3-4million Japanese who died & they certainly DONT care about the 20-30million who died at the hands of the ija!

2 ( +10 / -8 )

I wonder how many people my religion killed.

Christianity killed billions of people in the name of "God" in the history of the world, Imperialism had been justified, wars justified, Inquisition and world wide human trafficking justified, white supremacy justified, anti-Jew sentiment justified. in the name of God, for 2000 years. And there are churches today.

Now if I offend someone by going to church, I shouldn't go to church?

That kind of idea is where freedom of religion start to collapse.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

@jj1067

Yeah, yeah, Yasukuni is a religious site. But it's operated by an organization that has a distorted view of history and includes a museum that white washes it.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

@MrBum

Though I never visited there, I am offended by the idea to justify some of the things Imperial Japanese Army did. But I don't allow myself to say that they have no rights to follow their religion. Being offended doesn't justify it.

But let's say it does.

I was very much offended by the Extreme Islam terrorists as I was in NY on 911. So, did that justify we demand Islams not to go to Mosque? We rather asked a Mosque leader to join the bi religion memorial and he came. Freedom of Religion in action in USA.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

@jj1067

Yasukuni is not just any Shinto shrine. Look up its history and who funds it. It's a symbol of the ultra-nationalist (and revisionist) right in Japan and everyone knows it.

Your average citizen can go wherever they want without complaint, but politicians represent their country. They still have the right to worship where they want, but there are consequences to their actions. In this case, their very public actions understandably upsets Japan's neighbors and adds unnecessary tension to their relations.

5 ( +12 / -7 )

I am going to keep repeating this... Yasukuni is where the "soul" of Japan is. As any being, a "souls" has many shades and colors, some are dark, some are clear. But it is what it make one (in this case a nation) what it is today.

There are many people that died defending the country that are in Yasukuni, there are people that did great damage and evil thinking they were doing for the good of the country.

All their actions of all of them made, what Japan is today. Yasukuni is a shrine to pay respect for the whole and not the individual.

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

Everyone posting here should first pay a visit to Yasukuni Shrine, and to the adjacent Shuyukan Museum and then come back with a clear opinion. Eg "The names of convicted war criminals should be removed to another shrine,"etc.

Personally I feel that the museum does not glorify or whitewash anything, but I agree that it is a) not apologetic in ways that non-Japanese might expect, and b) it does not touch on negative things that most of the rest of the world are, one way or another, clearly aware of. (In a sense the atom bomb museum in Hiroshima, while a very powerful monument, also makes no effort to examine the causes, but simply the horrendous results.)

Modern museums in the West make more of an effort nowadays to examine the background and to stimulate creative thinking in the young mind. Perhaps Yasukuni and the Shuyukan should offer opposing opinions on their displays for visitors to consider.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Everyone posting here should first pay a visit to Yasukuni Shrine, and to the adjacent Shuyukan Museum and then come back with a clear opinion. Eg "The names of convicted war criminals should be removed to another shrine,"etc.

If anyone posting only negatives without visiting Yasukuni even once, that's disgusting.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

What does Yasukuni got to do with Nazis Holocaust anyway.

Nazi Holocaust DENIERS hold views not unlike the whitewashed views of those you run and fund Yasukuni.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@DieRealityCheck... what did you expect... this is internet afeter all

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

@Daniel Neagari

you nor anyone else can control spirits.

You just can't

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@sfk... sorry you lost me... I have never stated nor said that I (or anybody else) controls spirits (though I think there are some comics with people with that kind of power).

The Shrine is a place where you prace..."say hello" to spirits or gods. Not control them....

But if you are into controlling spirits and stuff I recommend you to read the "Milkweed" series from Ian Tregillis

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

"I am going to keep repeating this... Yasukuni is where the "soul" of Japan is. As any being, a "souls" has many shades and colors, some are dark, some are clear. But it is what it make one (in this case a nation) what it is today"

You keep repeating it but it isn't getting any clearer or making any more sense. It was vague gibberish the first time you posted it.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Yes, honouring the war dead, like these two:

Two Japanese officers named Toshiaki Mukai and Tsuyoshi Noda held a contest over who was the first to succeed in killing 100 people with his sword.

http://argunners.com/the-japanese-kill-100-people-with-sword-contest-in-1937/

1 ( +7 / -6 )

I agree it's very unnecessary to go there in such an official way, no need to pour fuel on the fire. They KNOW what will happen.

Unfortunately Yasukuni Shrine's reputation has been destroyed by the media making people think it is a "war shrine". People who study the shrine's history and how Shinto works will know otherwise. There are some few war criminals enshrined there, however compared to the millions of other souls, it should be a non-issue. Take an open mind and imagine all the war criminals throughout the short history of the US, yet nobody seems to care. The winner indeed writes the history.

The connecting museum "Yushukan" is perhaps an issue, but it is no bigger issue than our education telling us that the "US had to drop the A-bomb to end the war" or "Manchuria was a terrible place". It is no bigger issue than the History channel and their inaccuracies.

Agree with the guy above

"If anyone posting only negatives without visiting Yasukuni even once, that's disgusting." First go there, see the museum, read the history (from other sources than schoolbooks, the media and FB), then make up your own mind.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Arlington National Cemetery may become more controversial when soldiers who have worked at detention centres (like the famous one in Gitmo) are buried. Even waterboarding is a war crime, albeit a lesser one. Several Japanese were charged with this:

"On the basis of the 1929 convention the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE; 1946–48) convicted 25 Japanese leaders of responsibility for war crimes and crimes against humanity, specifically including torture by waterboarding (referred to by the IMTFE as the “water treatment”)."

Since the US is a world leader and world police, it should be held to a higher or equal, not a lesser, standard.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Daniel Niagara: "I am going to keep repeating this... Yasukuni is where the "soul" of Japan is."

And you're going to have to keep facing the fact that if you honestly believe that's the soul of Japan, you are admitting the soul of Japan is corrupt, ultra-right wing, and in bed with war criminals, and lorded over by white-washers. That is what you think the soul of Japan is?

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Daniel Niagara: "I am going to keep repeating this... Yasukuni is where the "soul" of Japan is."

You have to be kidding right? Tell this to the millions of Japanese that died believing that their Emperor was God.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Photo set and vid of the Obamas at Arlington. The first photo is marked 'Official White House Photo' (at the first link). The vid is marked 'AP'.

Turbostat So what? He's not rubbing salt in anyone's face. And considering the fact that he's already been to Hiroshima I don't see any problem with him visiting Arlington. Is Abe going to visit Pearl Harbor? Is anyone from the LDP going to visit there for that matter?Plus, tell me, which war criminals are buried at Arlington?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Arlington National Cemetery, I don't know if it could be an equivalent of Yasukuni.

Arlington National Cemetery is a cemetery where the fallen of many different religions rest. I guess what is equivalent of Arlington National Cemetery is Chiganofuchi.

I'm a Japanese Christian but my ancestors were Buddhists. So I go to Buddhist cemetery every summer and winter to pray for their rest in peace. That's not too religions thing to do for me but I think that's a natural thing for me to do. I guess I'm praying to my God for their soul in front of Buddhist coffin. On the other hand my going to church is absolutely a religious act. If my parents were Christians, it should have been a lot more simple but I'm not sorry because my parents were Buddhists.

Those people who go to Yasukuni are praying in their way to the souls they want to pray for. Among those millions souls some dozens bad soul from political viewpoint, or whatever the viewpoint, doesn't justify attacking Yasukuni, a religion. 。 If that is justifiable, what happens to Christian churches, Mosques and Synagogues? St.Paul's Cathedral in Vatican has the name of Pope in history who ordered the Inquisition, horrible torture. Does that justify banning Catholic as a religion?

As I said, Freedom, Democracy and Rule of Law is the foundation of Japan. Yasukuni is a religion by the law. Freedom of Religion is on the Constitution of Japan.

and please, if you don't agree, be brave enough to provide some logical objection.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Yubaru: "You have to be kidding right? Tell this to the millions of Japanese that died believing that their Emperor was God."

Another soul lost to the education system... when you think Kami = God, then you clearly need to read some books before commenting on anything that has to do with Shinto. Not even Amaterasu is a "God", so kindly never use that word when talking about Shinto, it is extremly misleading.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

oh @thinawatanabe

you always make things more complicated.

@ Aly Rustom It's not Abe, It's The Emperor, who will visit Pearl Harbor.

Several years ago, Japan's Emperor wished to visit Pearl Harbor.

Both US Government and Japanese Government knew that the visit to Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima should have been happened in coordinate. But at that time US political situation didn't allow US government to assure US President Obama's visit to Hiroshima. So The Emperor's request was cancelled.

But after that President Obama made it to visited Hiroshima even before Japan's Emperor visit Pearl Harbor.

So I'm quite sure that The Emperor will visit Pearl Harbor sometime in near future. The problem is that our Emperor is old and about to be, for the first time in a few hundred years of our history, retiring. In that case, the next Emperor will visit Pearl Harbor.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Those people who go to Yasukuni are praying in their way to the souls they want to pray for. Among those millions souls some dozens bad soul from political viewpoint, or whatever the viewpoint, doesn't justify attacking Yasukuni, a religion. 。 If that is justifiable, what happens to Christian churches, Mosques and Synagogues? St.Paul's Cathedral in Vatican has the name of Pope in history who ordered the Inquisition, horrible torture. Does that justify banning Catholic as a religion?

jj1067,

Individuals YES,......j-politicians NO NO NO NO absolutely NOT!!!

J-politicians DO NOT CARE about the Japanese who died because of their grand parents SCREW UPs, and I gurantee they DO NOT care about the 20-30 million who were SLAUGHTERED at the hands of the IJA!

I don't care what religion you are or are not, what the IJA DID & what yasukuni represents is OBSCENE period!

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

jj1067OCT. 18, 2016 - 10:39PM JST

Arlington National Cemetery, I don't know if it could be an equivalent of Yasukuni.

No, It can't. Arlington is a state-maintained facility, Yasukuni is private. As such, because of the separation of government and religion in the Japanese Constitution politicians should only ever be there as private citizens. Anyone who thinks they have any religious sentiments or are praying for peace or the souls of the war dead is woefully naive - it's all just a tacky PR stunt to keep elderly, right-wing nationalist voters happy. I'm not against visiting the shrine for genuine religious reasons, but exploiting religion for political gain is another matter.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@Simon Foston

Yes, politicians should be private people when they go on to religions services. I mean we can't be anything but private when we go to a service. But it happens that their common obligations follow. US President goes to a church, on "official" Presidential motorcade with the Secret Service forces, that doesn't mean the president is not religious.

But I understand your point that those Japanese politicians are visiting Yasukuni for political purposes but not for religious reasons. and taking it as a religions act is naive.

But when it comes to religion I think we have to be "naive". US military doesn't bomb Mosques. That is naive. We know that terrorists know US military doesn't bomb Mosques so they find safety there but US still do not bomb Mosques. Why is that? Because America can't bomb religious sites. as America is a country that represents the foundation of freedom of religion herself.

People here are bombing Yasukuni with words. From political viewpoint some of their idea may be valid, but from the viewpoint of fundamental value of freedom it is oppression of religion. you know what's happening among us Japanese? We in Japan are beginning to believe that the world is losing the idea of freedom of religion. We know that many people in Europe and America are leaving from their Christian faith and thus Freedom of Religion is also becoming meaningless among them.

But here in Japan, we stay with freedom of religion. And if it's gone, I, as a Christian Japanese, will have no churches in Japan too.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Aly Rustom: "When American politicians visit Arlington, they just go ahead and do it quietly. They don't bring the cameras like these muppets do. Why not just visit the shrine quietly and privately?"

Aly Rustom: Turbostat So what? He's not rubbing salt in anyone's face. And considering the fact that he's already been to Hiroshima I don't see any problem with him visiting Arlington. Is Abe going to visit Pearl Harbor? Is anyone from the LDP going to visit there for that matter?Plus, tell me, which war criminals are buried at Arlington?

Obama's cemetery visit was a photo op. With media invited, and even the official White House photographer. He did "bring the cameras like these muppets do." How is it 'quiet and private' if the AP is publishing video of it?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

i wonder how many visited yasukuni shrine before writing comments. why interfere with other country's right? and to decide what is right and wrong? based on what? .

1 ( +5 / -4 )

It's not Abe, It's The Emperor, who will visit Pearl Harbor. Several years ago, Japan's Emperor wished to visit Pearl Harbor. Both US Government and Japanese Government knew that the visit to Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima should have been happened in coordinate. But at that time US political situation didn't allow US government to assure US President Obama's visit to Hiroshima. So The Emperor's request was cancelled

Well, Obama has visited Hiroshima, so whichever- the emperoro or the PM, the visit should be reciprocated.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

in short... Apparently I was named after some falls in North America...

and no one even commented on my book suggestion? it is a fun read...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Obama's cemetery visit was a photo op. With media invited, and even the official White House photographer. He did "bring the cameras like these muppets do." How is it 'quiet and private' if the AP is publishing video of it?

Why is that a photo op? To whom is that gesture intended for? He is not stepping on Japan or Germany's toes. Japan uses the YK shrine visits to purposefully stoke nationalist sentiment and to upset its neighbors. Obama doesn't. Its not a photo op because its not intended as a message to ANY nation. Just simple news about a President paying his respects. No ulterior motive.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

jj1067OCT. 19, 2016 - 12:15AM JST

Yes, politicians should be private people when they go on to religions services. I mean we can't be anything but private when we go to a service. But it happens that their common obligations follow. US President goes to a church, on "official" Presidential motorcade with the Secret Service forces, that doesn't mean the president is not religious.

Sorry, I think that's a false comparison as the US and Japan are too different in their approaches to politics and religion. In the US it features everywhere - there's a national cathedral, a presidential inaugural prayer, the pledge of allegiance is to one nation under God, and have you ever heard of a US President who wasn't a Christian? In Japan a Catholic like Taro Aso can be Prime Minister and no one thinks anything of it. There are no religious obligations for Japanese politicians as far as I know, even the official war memorial services are completely secular.

People here are bombing Yasukuni with words. From political viewpoint some of their idea may be valid, but from the viewpoint of fundamental value of freedom it is oppression of religion. you know what's happening among us Japanese? We in Japan are beginning to believe that the world is losing the idea of freedom of religion.

No one's saying you can't visit Yasukuni - in fact, I suspect that kind of sentiment would be pretty much taboo here as there's a very influential pro-Shinto lobby with a lot of sway over politicians. I'm not sure what you mean about what would happen to churches without freedom of religion, though I imagine it would involve those same Shinto people establishing a dictatorship and forcing everyone to visit Yasukuni.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Aly Rustom: Why is that a photo op? To whom is that gesture intended for? He is not stepping on Japan or Germany's toes. Japan uses the YK shrine visits to purposefully stoke nationalist sentiment and to upset its neighbors. Obama doesn't. Its not a photo op because its not intended as a message to ANY nation. Just simple news about a President paying his respects. No ulterior motive.

How is an event the White House photographer publishes 10 photos from and the Associated Press publishes video from not a photo op?

You're moving the goal posts. Obama engaged in exactly what you were complaining about Abe about. Moving them, viz:

Japan uses the YK shrine visits to purposefully stoke nationalist sentiment and to upset its neighbors.

Why would Japan want to upset its neighbors? Is it useful at all for the Japanese government to upset its neighbors in this way?

I don't want to go research the relevant points again, but it goes something like this: the Japanese government and the Japanese emperor don't have a choice about some scrolls (or whatever) embodying some 14 Japanese war criminals at Yasakuni (the Allies having dumped their ashes in Tokyo Bay to prevent the current scenario). Due to a takeover by pro-war-criminal Shinto abbots somewhere around the 70's or 80's who placed the scrolls (or whatever), the scrolls will remain in place and without modifying the Allie-imposed (or negotiated) national constitution to breach the constitutionally-mandated church/state separation Japan will not be going into the shrine to take down the (scrolls). The emperor and probably some prime ministers haven't visited since then (or since some point since then). As for Abe, some years he's gone to the shrine, some years he hasn't, at least once his wife went without him (and she used to be a DJ, right? Is she liberal?). There are thousands and thousands of (souls) interred there who weren't the masterminds at the top of the war effort (or other war criminals).

So, as to whether it's RIGHT to visit the military graves of their respective country's, Abe's got a problem, that he gets around in different ways in different years, and Obama doesn't have any such problem at all, how is he to be congratulated for navigating a problem that is not a problem?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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