Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi bows as she visits the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on Friday. Photo: Toru Hanai/Reuters
politics

95 lawmakers visit Yasukuni Shrine; Abe sends offering

80 Comments

Dozens of Japanese lawmakers, including one cabinet minister, visited a shrine to Japan's war dead on Friday, in a move that could spark protests elsewhere in Asia where the shrine is regarded as a symbol of Japan's past militarism.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering to Yasukuni Shrine spring festival, which takes place as Japan seeks greater cooperation with China and South Korea in the face of rising tensions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes.

Asian neighbors have been outraged in the past by Japanese politicians visiting the shrine in downtown Tokyo as it honours 14 Japanese leaders convicted by an Allied tribunal as war criminals, along with the other war dead.

Around 95 members of parliament paid their respects en masse on Friday, NHK said, including Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi, who usually visits during the shrine's twice-yearly festivals and on August 15, the anniversary of Japan's World War Two surrender.

Health Minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki sent a ritual offering, like Abe, but neither was expected to visit, NHK added.

Abe has visited the shrine only once, in December 2013, since becoming prime minister the previous year.

Rather than attend in person, Abe has instead opted to send ritual offerings on several occasions, in an effort to improve ties with China and South Korea, which have been strained by territorial and other disputes.

There was no sign that Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, who has been accused by China of recklessly misrepresenting wartime history, had visited or made an offering at the shrine.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017.


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Here we go again! Maybe if they stopped the sake the lawmakers would stay away.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

yep asking for help from China & Korea, then spitting in their faces at the same time. a good article to show why the shrine is used as more a political one instead of a religious one all started at the end of US occupation in 1954 http://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/a02404/

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Maybe they are praying for lightning. I bet they would rebuild it.

since the shrine honors 14 Japanese leaders convicted by an Allied tribunal as war criminals,

It does not honor them. Their souls...evils souls are stuck there.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

It`s really China and Koreas problem. People with knowledge about the shrine, history and Shinto knows very well that it is not a war shrine.

On the other side, since they falsely believe it is a war shrine, Abe-san and co. would be wise to do this in a more discreet, until things calm down (if they ever do)...

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

Since its a private shrine do they pay anything for the costs of the hundreds of police that are around and near to it?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

this guy will put personal pride ahead of the safety and security of he nation -- his job -- every day of the week. While TRUMP of all people is seeking China's help with he North Korea problem, Abe KNOWINGLY drips an atom bomb on the situation. Stupid, greedy, selfish man.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

i hope when talks break down again with NK nad they decide to teat another rocket today or tomorrow as a direct result of this Suga and Co dont have the gall (and they dont have the right) to claim it's outrageous or unprecedented, etc.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

WOW what an especially appropriate time!

10 ( +10 / -0 )

freedom of speech and freedom of visit.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

If it's not a war shrine why is there a war museum

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I thought the internet would enlighten people, but the majority is to lazy to research on their own. E.g. the so-called "Tiger of Malay" was sentenced a war criminal, but you don't have to go further than Wikipedia(!) to understand that he was no more war criminal than allied commanders. Check the internet a bit deeper and you see that Churchill had no compassion for neither his troops or the civilians in his beloved colony of Singapore. Wake up people.

-16 ( +4 / -20 )

Imagine something similar in Germany. A church that had Himmler, Mengales and Goering "enshrined", where the German Chancellor yearly went to pray? Do you see?

Not acceptable for any one person who understood what they did, what they represent. This is true of this shrine too for entire nations. Nations that you need on your side, notably when dealing with regional despots!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Waiting for the argument that they went as private citizens......

8 ( +9 / -1 )

some drink to remember, some drink to forget

you can check-out any time you like, But you can never leave

Japan has no technology where they can control spirits. The shrine is just a list of people they like. People that go there are going to be enablers. If they wanted to enable peace there are other means of doing so, one being not to pray to war criminals. It's on another list

4 ( +5 / -1 )

That is an inappropriate example, "ListenTheTruth". Yasukuni shrine serves as a spiritual place for both war criminals and innocent who were either culprits or victims of war. It all depends on how you want to present it to the public you are addressing. If you want to stay neutral and continue the cooperation, you say they have visited the shrine that remembers all the dead who have fallen during second world war. If you want to condemn them as militarists, imperialists, other -ists, you say they are visiting the dead war criminals. One thing for sure, they are insensitive in doing so and this is a show now, not a personal voyage to the history of the past. They make sure it is in a spotlight and that it is received everywhere. Which of course makes them look like idiots, not diplomatic representatives striving for a better future for everyone.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Asian neighbors have been outraged in the past by Japanese politicians visiting the shrine in downtown Tokyo as it honours 14 Japanese leaders convicted by an Allied tribunal as war criminals, along with the other war dead.

How many can spot the misinformation here?

Yasukuni shrine's main purpose is to honor the millions of soldiers who were killed in the battlefield. 14 war criminals are just a small addition to the list. Reuter's article intentionally changes the main purpose and trivia.

Local people understand the main purpose of the shrine. So, when foreigners criticize the shrine due to 14 war criminals, they scoff at the foreigners, thinking foreigners cannot see things in perspective and cannot think critically but believe in whatever is written in the foreign language news. They are also convinced that the foreigners' knowledge on Japan is minimal even if they live in Japan for years, probably due to the illiteracy. So, this is a perfect topic to earn a scoff.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

It almost seems like they are visiting not to honor/remember those enshrined but to just simply get a rise out of China and Korea.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Another example of grumpy old men reenacting the past knowing full well its giving "the bird" to the closest countries (the same DNA) an insidious and creeping lurch to the far right. MMM Bayonet practice? Sacrifice ones self for country? This regime is out of control.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Timing and basic sensibility are certainly not their strong suites, it seems....

5 ( +6 / -1 )

14 war criminals are just a small addition to the list. Reuter's article intentionally changes the main purpose and trivia.

Actually, Reuter's downplayed it if anything - the 14 mentioned were class A war criminals. There are over 1000 class A, B and C war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

How many can spot the misinformation here?

No, I can't, and you didn't it out either. Which information is incorrect?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Timing and basic sensibility are certainly not their strong suites...

This is certainly a religious act, which is a basic human right protected by the constitution. Just because somebody believes in a religion you do not like, you cannot take away their right. Show some sensitivity, guys.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

CH3CHO Today  02:11 pm JST

They are also convinced that the foreigners' knowledge on Japan is minimal

Except, it's the vast majority of Japanese whose knowledge on what happened during much of WWII is minimal...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Since America honors the Tokyo air raids and treats the pilots like heroes; since China keeps quiet about the millions upon millions killed by Mao, I see nothing wrong with the Japanese visiting this shrine. The U.S. army butchered hundreds of thousands of innocent, civilian Filipinos, Mexicans, Cubans, and Vietnamese; many of those murderous soldiers are honered at Arlington; therefore, it's quite hypocritical to chastise the Japanese for this.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Yasukuni was built in 1870 as a festival ground for soldiers. The Emperor Meiji visited in 1874 and wrote,

“I assure those of you who fought and died for your country that your names will live forever at this shrine.” He was referring to those who died in the Boston Civil War that brought him to power. Fourteen years later it became the official shrine to honor those soldiers.

Emperor Meiji also wrote the Rescript on Education.

There are no human remains or graves on the site. The shrine priesthood decide which dead people have their “kami” enshrined and don’t seek permission from families. The kami include Koreans. The dead include not only soldiers but all people who died defending the emperor. There are 2.5 million kami or names in their “Book of Souls.” 2 million are from WWll. Since then it became a private shrine.

In 1957, eleven years after the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal (Tokyo Trials), a secret meeting between Yasukuni representatives and Health and Welfare officials was held. At this fateful meeting, it was decided that the 14 senior military leaders who were convicted as Class A war criminals were eligible to be honored at Yasukuni . It was also decided that this agreement would not be made public.

The most inflammatory feature of Yasakuni, is the intimately connected Yushukan War Museum, which takes honor and glorification of the Japanese military to a remarkable extreme.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

The most inflammatory feature of Yasakuni, is the intimately connected Yushukan War Museum, which takes honor and glorification of the Japanese military to a remarkable extreme.

Why is it ok for America to honor its imperialism and military to an extreme?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

This is certainly a religious act, which is a basic human right protected by the constitution. Just because somebody believes in a religion you do not like, you cannot take away their right. Show some sensitivity, guys.

Freedom of speech is also a right - and it includes the right to criticize religion.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

CH3CHO: "Local people understand the main purpose of the shrine."

And they're just plain stupid if they don't know the other reasons, and even stupider if they forgive said other reasons if the former is one reason for the visit. Sorry, but as heads of state you do not visit such a place KNOWING it will anger others -- especially countries you are on the very real brink of war with -- if you are a true leader, even IF the main reason for going is to honour the dead.

"They are also convinced that the foreigners' knowledge on Japan is minimal"

Actually, most are more knowledgable on Japan and the war in particular, if not Japanese culture in general, especially people like yourself who deny the IJA committed atrocities, say the sex slaves were anything but, etc. Just because a person is born here and/or told what to think by people who deny the past does not in any way mean they naturally know more about Japan and its history -- and that goes likewise for other nationals in their nations.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Freedom of speech is also a right - and it includes the right to criticize religion.

That's unless the criticism is on a familiar website, and it criticizes Islam or Christianity, or Judaism.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Why is it ok for America to honor its imperialism and military to an extreme?

Who has said that it's ok? I think the best is that you can say is that the Japanese do not object, and if it's the right of anyone to object, it's the victims.

With Yasukuni however, the victims are the Chinese and the Koreans, and it's their right to object.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Who has said that it's ok? I think the best is that you can say is that the Japanese do not object, and if it's the right of anyone to object, it's the victims.

With Yasukuni however, the victims are the Chinese and the Koreans, and it's their right to object.

I should have clarified: I mean the foreigners on this thread who've taken up the cause on behalf of the Chinese and Koreans. But it's really an issue of power. Japan lost the war, so they're not allowed to honor their war dead. China has killed more of its own people than have Japanese killed Chinese. China is just using this as a political stick with which to beat Japan.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

I am not Chinese or Korean, or even Asian in descent. But my nation also suffered at the hands of the IJA as did many others. As such, I take offense that Japan has never properly atoned, and continues to rub salt in wounds. But nice (Japanese-esque) try at diversion and avoidance of responsibility.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

And what nation is that?

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Don't need people honoring A class war criminals in power.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Mr. Noidall: "I mean the foreigners on this thread who've taken up the cause on behalf of the Chinese and Koreans."

Newsflash, amigo, you don't have to be South Korean or Chinese to recognise that atrocities were committed and the aforementioned were brutalised the most in terms of victims. And, as you well know, you don't have to Japanese to deny atrocities occurred. The difference is the former people see crimes against humanity and massacres for what they are, and see victimhood for what it is; the latter are desperate to make themselves feel better for some reason, and some to suck up, so they want real history swept under the carpet. I daresay if people were speaking on behalf of Japanese victims of disaster and/or atrocity you wouldn't be questioning why they are "taking up the cause of others". We're all human, and we all need to try and help each other. That starts with admitting we've wronged, not denying it and berating victims, and trying to make honest amends. Japan has never learned, and in fact lies about and tries to recreate the past. Yasukuni and the visits by lawmakers are a perfect example of that. If it is truly not political, is personal, and is about honouring the dead and not about war criminals, visit personally without the cameras and announcements and not using official title, and remove the names of the war criminals from the list of those enshrined. Also, change the war museum attached to the shrine to reflect ACTUAL history.

No? thought not.

"And what nation is that?"

Why? so you can continue to try and belittle someone based on where they are from and want to know the specifics? I've had people on here with similar arguments to yours talking about how right they are and how wrong I am, then saying "You're South Korean, I know it!" and when I said they're wrong they'd say, "Then you're American," and they were wrong again. Then they'd ask what my nationality is so they could try and find a way to prove their made up points about history, completely dismissing the fact that they were already completely wrong in their preconceived judgement about where I was from. It doesn't MATTER where you are from when it comes to recognising a victim and saying that atrocities are wrong.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Abe government want re-establishment nationalistic oppresive regime like prewar.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

And what nation is that?

Irrelevant.

Why is it OK for Japan to deny responsibility and martyr those who gave the command to carry out atrocities on Japan's behalf?

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Are we doing this AGAIN? Oh brother. All in the name of voter approval and you know it. I would bet that none of these people would be going there if they were not politicians. Could probably care less in reality. Why, oh, why, oh why does Japan continue to stroke the anger of its Asian neighbors by doing this? It does not serve a purpose for anyone but China, North and South Korean, Japanese politician and newspapers. It serves the people of all three lands no good purpose at all.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@CH3CHO

But I doubt the account of "secret meeting" in 1957, because the 14 class A war criminals were included in the shrine's list as late as 1978.

But accept it was.

In 1957, eleven years after the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal (Tokyo Trials), a secret meeting between Yasukuni representatives and Health and Welfare officials was held. At this fateful meeting, it was decided that the 14 senior military leaders who were convicted as Class A war criminals were eligible to be honored at Yasukuni. It was also decided that this agreement would not be made public. It took another ten years before these convicted war criminals were officially commemorated; their enshrinement was revealed to the media in April of the next year, 1979.

I don't agree with the government ministers and politicians visiting the shrine. I also disagree with the war museum.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Why is it OK for Japan to deny responsibility and martyr those who gave the command to carry out atrocities on Japan's behalf?

You didn't answer the question; instead you deflected. And your country is relevant since you painted yourself as victim of the IJA.

Anyway, another question: what government doesn't martyr its people in times of war?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

zichi Today 06:21 pm JST

It seems your citation is from here.

But it says,

This is another blog I composed for the Junior Year Abroad Network:

I still doubt the accuracy of the year.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

14 war criminals are just a small addition to the list no they were included by the head priest at the time as a purely political tool to discredit the Tokyo War Tribunal. http://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/a02404/

3 ( +4 / -1 )

But it's really an issue of power. Japan lost the war, so they're not allowed to honor their war dead. Nobody is against preying Japan preying for their war dead. what their against is preying for their WAR CRIMINALS. If your fine with preying for them then youd probably fine if Germany preyed for Hitler and his high command. (which they dont because they know its wrong)

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@CH3CHO

The important points are the shrine and priest don't seek the permission of the deceased families to include them in the Book of Souls. There have been families who tried to have family member names removed. There was a secret meeting was held in 1957 about adding the names of 14 Class A War Criminals. That wasn't made public until about 1979, or about 20 years later.

Tamamoto, Masaru. “A Land Without Patriots: The Yasukuni Controversy and Japanese Nationalism.” World Policy Journal: 2001.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

But I doubt the account of "secret meeting" in 1957, because the 14 class A war criminals were included in the shrine's list as late as 1978.

well what about the head priest who enshrined them Matsudaira Nagayoshi’s

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.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

zichi Today  06:58 pm JST

There was a secret meeting was held in 1957 about adding the names of 14 Class A War Criminals. That wasn't made public until about 1979, or about 20 years later.

I am looking for the Tamamoto's essay, but still cannot find one that is readable on the internet. I would bet it is a typo of 1975 rather than 1957. People would be all gone after 20 years.

wtfjapan Today 07:01 pm JST

well what about the head priest who enshrined them Matsudaira Nagayoshi’s

I am talking about the year in which the secret meeting was held. Matsudaira was not even a priest, let alone the head priest at Yasukuni in 1957.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

AgentX Today 03:49 pm JST

I am not Chinese or Korean, or even Asian in descent. But my nation also suffered at the hands of the IJA as did many others. As such, I take offense that Japan has never properly atoned, and continues to rub salt in wounds. But nice (Japanese-esque) try at diversion and avoidance of responsibility.

Would you kindly tell me the name of your country?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

People also need to realize that not all Japanese soldiers were war criminals. There were countless soldiers who were there because they were forced to be or brainwashed that they had to do it for their country. There are good and bad soldiers in every military unit of every country.

My great uncle was a POW in Osaka during the war and he met plenty of Japanese soldiers that thought the war was pointless and had no ill feelings towards other countries.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

wtfjapan, thanks for that bit of history. I didn't know that Nakasone was the first to visit the shrine. To me, that puts it in perspective. These politicians need to stop this mess. Stop going. As for atrocities, Mao, Stalin, a few others, have killed more of their own people than maybe anyone else in history. Mao as late as the '50s - '60s.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm proud of you Japan!

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Japan is fully entitled to pay respect to its past heroes at YASUKUNI SHRINE.There should be no doubt left in the minds of all Japanese irrespective of the criticism coming from opposing countries.All Japanese should visit the shrine with full regard and pay their respect to the departed souls who had laid down their lives for the defence of their country .

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Karaguchi:

It`s really China and Koreas problem.

When the rich tourists from China and South Korea (and Taiwan and Hong Kong, for that matter) stop coming to Japan and when these countries refuse to do business with Japan, then it WILL be Japan's problem. It's no skin off my back if these politicians out to get votes want to visit this shrine located right next to a war museum packed with lies. But other countries aren't obliged to do business with them.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

wtfjapan Apr. 21  11:35 am JST

yep asking for help from China & Korea, then spitting in their faces at the same time. 

Nobody is spitting in anybody's face. In fact all those tourists from China and SKorea who are all over Japan couldn't give a rat's hindquarters about this issue. Both China and SKorea are acting to preserve their interests

regarding NKorea. I don't see Japan asking anyone for help, other than the United States.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

I doubt anyone's really surprised by their visit, this is the 50th time this has happened and its the same arguments everytime. Its more a political move than anything, not to mention every country maytr's their war heroes in some form or another, and who are the villians, who are the heroes is all based on who wins the war.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People also need to realize that not all Japanese soldiers were war criminals. There were countless soldiers who were there because they were forced to be or brainwashed that they had to do it for their country. There are good and bad soldiers in every military unit of every country.

Another example of biased thinking that holds the west as superior. Why do you assume these soldiers were brainwashed? Couldn't they have been patriots who were serving their country? Or is military service, especially honorable service, patriotism--are these things only reserved for the west?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Matsudaira was not even a priest, let alone the head priest at Yasukuni in 1957. so that doesnt make any difference . the priest prior to Matsudaira was against the enshrinement or war criminals, when he died and Matsudaira took over he carried out the ritual in secret 3 month later. Matsudaira political view about the war is what drove him to include criminals and is the reason for the whole mess we have today. Many of the war criminals families were against enshrinment but he did it anyways, this has nothing to do with religion and everything with those in power not accepting ramafications of losing the war.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

* Japan is fully entitled to pay respect to its past heroes at YASUKUNI SHRINE. ** so you class the WAR CRIMINALS who were responsible for millions of deaths, heros also!? do you think these same criminals deserving of respect and memorial!?*

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Fujimaro Tsukuba (筑波藤麿): 25 January 1946 – 20 March 1978 (died in office) refused to enshrine the 14 Class A war criminals.

Nagayoshi Matsudaira (松平永芳): 1 July 1978 – 31 March 1992 enshrined the 14 Class A war criminals in 1979.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

All part of the IJA theme park. They should be required to wear the uniforms they have a home

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@CH3CHO

AgentX Today 03:49 pm JST

I am not Chinese or Korean, or even Asian in descent. But my nation also suffered at the hands of the IJA as did many others. As such, I take offense that Japan has never properly atoned, and continues to rub salt in wounds. But nice (Japanese-esque) try at diversion and avoidance of responsibility.

Would you kindly tell me the name of your country?

FYI there are many Caucasian descendants living in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines.. etc

I'm from Singapore, the IJA did terrible things in Singapore during WW2 but we are NOT blaming the current Japanese for what their ancestors did. BUT, denying and whitewashing history are like rubbing salt in the victims wounds. Most of us already forgive Japan, but will not forget the atrocities done during WW2, we hope those atrocities will not reoccur to anyone in future.

By the way, some commentators above claims that China are not in any position to complain as Mao killed millions of Chinese during his time is just pure deflection from the topic. Genghis Khan killed more people doesn't means it is right for IJA to massacre and tortures those civilians even though the victims might be lesser. Point is IJA DID wrong in the past, Japan should be sincere and own up and get over it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What about the non-Shinto Japanese who died in wars: when are the LDP nutters going to pay their respects to them?

And if they think the souls of the war dead are enshrined at Yasukuni they are wrong: I have them all in a box in my closet (apart from those of the war criminals, of course).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why, oh, why, oh why does Japan continue to stroke the anger of its Asian neighbors by doing this?

Because they have no intention to stroke anger of anyone. They do not understand why anybody feels anger when they commit no crime against anyone by visiting the shrine. That's why.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

socrateos Today  09:02 pm JST

Why, oh, why, oh why does Japan continue to stroke the anger of its Asian neighbors by doing this?

Because they have no intention to stroke anger of anyone.

But they know they're going to, and they don't care. Got to keep all those old folks voting for them and sending them cash for their election campaigns, after all.

They do not understand why anybody feels anger when they commit no crime against anyone by visiting the shrine. That's why.

You don't find it even remotely offensive when politicians use religion for purely political purposes? Or do you actually believe them when they self-righteously proclaim, with all the media gathered around, that they're praying for peace and the souls of the war dead?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

r They do not understand why anybody feels anger when they commit no crime against anyone by visiting the shrine. ye they go to this shrine knowing full well that theyll be preying for the souls of the class A war criminals that were responsible for millions of death througout asia. what message do you think that sends about Japanese sincerity for their apologise and remourse for their brutal colonisation of asia. Like saying sorry from one side of your mouth then spitting at them from the opposite side.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

They go wherever they want in their own country. Nobody else's business.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Akemi Apr. 22  11:44 pm JST

They go wherever they want in their own country. Nobody else's business.

It's nobody else in Japan's business either as Yasukuni Shrine can only be visited in a private capacity due to the constitutional separation of state and religion, but these politicians always make sure everyone knows all about it, or their complicit media stooges do.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Akemi: They go wherever they want in their own country. Nobody else's business.

Well said, exactly right. Everyone else, mind your own business and get over it.

Simon Foston : these politicians always make sure everyone knows all about it, or their complicit media stooges do.

The hacks will always find out what these guys are doing no matter how careful they are. If they manage to keep it quiet and it wasn't reported until later people like you would be saying "ah see they tried to keep it a secret..."

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Just a user Today  08:27 am JST

Akemi: They go wherever they want in their own country. Nobody else's business.

Well said, exactly right. Everyone else, mind your own business and get over it.

Simon Foston : these politicians always make sure everyone knows all about it, or their complicit media stooges do.

The hacks will always find out what these guys are doing no matter how careful they are. If they manage to keep it quiet and it wasn't reported until later people like you would be saying "ah see they tried to keep it a secret..."

But they're not trying to keep people from finding out. I would have more respect for them if they did try to keep the media out of matters that should be wholly private and personal. They're broadcasting it. They form large groups that go en masse and they all turn up in big black cars in sombre suits looking all solemn and reverential, and then they parrot the same old platitudes to the media. It's just shameless PR.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I don't object to honouring anyone but I draw a line at Hitler, With the Japanese they have a very strange way of honouring there falling soldiers. They go to a place of worship, a Shinto Shrine. What is the methodology behind this ? The Japan forces fought for the emperor and Japanese Imperialism not a idoliogy. So they got that totally wrong. In a way they are dishonouring some of the falling who were not of any faith. Japan should use parkes in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to honour their falling.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They go wherever they want in their own country. Nobody else's business.

You might have a point if those very same people didn't whine and complain about North Korea all the time, trying to whip up fear and hate for their own political agenda.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

But they know they're going to, and they don't care...

Not committing any crime to anyone by so doing SHOULD NOT be blamed for any wrong doing. Why do they have to care?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You don't find it even remotely offensive when politicians use religion for purely political purposes?...

No. I don't. Freedom of religion is guaranteed for all, regardless of their gender, age, nationality, sexual preference, or job title.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

You are mixing terms "Freedom of religion" and "Broadcasted political-nationalist pride show". You actually disrespect the former while advocating the thread,per se.

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Well said, exactly right. Everyone else, mind your own business and get over it. well then since China had document relating to the Nanjing masacre included as world heratage listings. japan shouldnt have anything

to complain about , mind their own business and get over it.

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wtfjapan: well then since China had document relating to the Nanjing masacre included as world heratage listings. japan shouldnt have anything

Err... yeh right

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

You are mixing terms "Freedom of religion" and "Broadcasted political-nationalist pride show"...

It is a religious act to visit and perform ritual in a Shinto shrine. It does not matter if a religious act is performed in PRIVATE OR PUBLIC. It is a basic human right to be protected as UN Declaration of Human Rights stipulates:

"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance." (Article 18)

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zichi Apr. 22 11:45 am JST

Fujimaro Tsukuba (筑波藤麿): 25 January 1946 – 20 March 1978 (died in office) refused to enshrine the 14 Class A war criminals.

That's right, zichi. And it does not sit well with the comment "There was a secret meeting that was held in 1957 about adding the names of 14 Class A War Criminals."

Simon Foston Apr. 23 06:25 am JST

Are you happy to live in a world where Chinese Communist Party dictates people which shrine to go and whom to worship? You are arguing exactly for such a world.

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@CH3CHO

So there was a secret meeting, one the public didn't know about until 2007, between the Health Ministry and the shrine about adding the names of the 14 Class A war criminals but the head priest opposed their enshrinement so it didn't happen until 1979 when there was a new head priest. The shrine had the names since 1959.

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socrateos Apr. 23  11:05 pm JST

You don't find it even remotely offensive when politicians use religion for purely political purposes?...

No. I don't. Freedom of religion is guaranteed for all, regardless of their gender, age, nationality, sexual preference, or job title.

What they're doing has nothing at all to do with religion.

CH3CHO Today  01:16 pm JST

Simon Foston Apr. 23 06:25 am JST

Are you happy to live in a world where Chinese Communist Party dictates people which shrine to go and whom to worship? You are arguing exactly for such a world.

What utter disingenuous garbage. The Constitution of Japan dictates what politicians should do with regard to religious matters. I'm arguing that the separation of church and state should be respected instead of politicians using religion to win over gullible right-wingers, but don't let that stop you from spouting hyperbolic rubbish about Chinese Communists, as if I care for even a second what they think.

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