politics

Abe sends ritual offering to Yasukuni Shrine; 4 ministers visit

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By Antoni Slodkowski and Ju-min Park

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"I don't understand why South Koreans are criticising the Japanese for paying respects to the war dead. We are purely paying respects to our war dead, like every other country around the world."

Nothing wrong with that.

It's when war criminals are glorified, there's an issue. Be they Japanese, Korean or American.

26 ( +37 / -11 )

I see the right wing cosplayers are having their day out.

Nutters.

23 ( +41 / -18 )

The photos above are misleading (contributing to stereotypes). Visitors to the Yasukuni are quite diverse and non-political even during the war-end anniversary. Many foreigners including Chinese and Koreans are also seen visiting there.

-2 ( +13 / -15 )

Jimizo,

some people just never learn from history!

Maybe they should go back to kindergarten and start education all over again!

Got those white buses and vans in our area, too.

Wonder why our city office doesn't do anything against this!

-2 ( +15 / -17 )

I personally think it's a brilliant move from the Japanese right-wingers to slip 14 war criminals' enshrine tokens with those of more innocent ones. By doing so, they can always honor "criminals" hidden in a huge crowd of other non-political visitors of the Yasukuni shrine. They really know how to "move on" from the past.

3 ( +16 / -13 )

The comments at the end say a LOT, the first, a young person, clearly unaware of the history of WWII & what Japan did.

The last 2 older folks, the first should well know the reason the world has issues with yasukuni is that they SNUCK in the war criminals, no one cares about individuals worshipping THEIR relatives etc. The last guy sadly takes the cake, he cant even admit WHY the Emperor wont go there......

Only three people but illustrates how Japanese are ""taught"" their history sadly

19 ( +30 / -11 )

Let's not talk about the past, let's look at the future.

Says the person visiting Yasukuni.

22 ( +34 / -12 )

The war criminals should have been kept separate and it only cheapens the honored fallen.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

noriahojaen that is totally false. This is coming from a right winger, obviously. Today is Korean independence day. Imagine Germany celebrating hitler at the end of the war.

Same thing.

6 ( +18 / -12 )

Ever notice how these right wing militarists are typically amongst the lowest dregs of society? I saw a group at Meiji-Jingu many years ago. I’ll-fitting miss-matched uniforms, out of shape, unkempt, ugh. Yeah, they really brought glory to their cause.

17 ( +22 / -5 )

It’s a pity Abe had to send an offering at all. But at least he stayed away.

“"I don't understand why South Koreans are criticising the Japanese for paying respects to the war dead. We are purely paying respects to our war dead, like every other country around the world."

Its because you snuck in the war criminals, back in 1978 I believe

12 ( +18 / -6 )

That's nice, they get to cosplay and a day out at a shrine.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Those bayonets look longer than the 5cm blade permitted by the law. Guess the police will ignore them along with the black chyrsanthemum trucks.

15 ( +17 / -2 )

Koreans, who mark the date as National Liberation Day, resent Japan's 1910-1945 colonisation of the peninsula. 

That's putting it mildly.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Let Japan move forward as a peaceful nation . . . it should be noted that the end of WW2 also had

the beneficial effect of ending Western European (white) imperialism in Asia . . . it should also be noted that in Germany and elsewhere in Europe, there should be no memorials to its Nazi armed forces of World War 2.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

AYAKA SOMA, 27, FREELANCE RESEARCHER

"Let's not talk about the past, let's look at the future. I hope that Japan and South Korea can come closer together. We have never experienced the war and we want to tell other young people to come pray here."

This has to be the most idiotic quote I’ve ever read. Yasukuni shrine (Peace Country shrine) is a symbol of the past aggressions and occupations of the imperial army that portrays war criminals as gods. If the 14 convicted war criminals were removed I could accept it as a war memorial.

16 ( +20 / -4 )

Those bayonets look longer than the 5cm blade permitted by the law. 

They are painted balsa wood. Dull knives, like the idiots carrying them.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

That pic. And with bayonets fixed too. Thats a message.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

This is why you were bombed. Connect the dots. Stop going. Stop supporting the IJA

9 ( +14 / -5 )

We should get some squads of Marines doing drill there during these occasions and show ‘em how it’s done.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

oharaToday  01:16 pm JST

That pic. And with bayonets fixed too. Thats a message.

Are you serious?

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

That pic. And with bayonets fixed too. Thats a message.

Do explain!

The only message I see is that they need a different hobby or at least a trip to the dry cleaners.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Paying your respects to relative's who died in wars is a very respectful thing to do.

No matter what side you were on, war the people who went through these conflicts went through unspeakable horrors for both military and civilians.

Some of my family died in the bombings of German cities but most survived as well as relatives who fought the Soviets which was a more unspeakable horror than people can imagine.. Most of my relatives didnt speak of the war until the last decade of there lives. No matter the side you were on any war is an unspeakable horror for all. Always pay your respects.

-10 ( +8 / -18 )

Japanese have every right to honor their war dead. Just because Japanese honor their war dead hardly means they worship class A war criminals.

-13 ( +7 / -20 )

Just because Japanese honor their war dead hardly means they worship class A war criminals.

Then remove them from the list. It's just a list of names, take them off. Otherwise, yes, yes they do

8 ( +14 / -6 )

And soon they will ask why China and Korea doesn’t like us.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

4 ministers visit.. with a picture of 4 cuckoo dressed in imperial soldier uniform, were they the ministers ?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

i wonder if people here watched yoshiki yamashita grilling on abe for whitewashing history at house debate yesterday...

go watch it if you wonder why other asians complain about japan not being apologetic.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

oldman_13Today  02:38 pm JST

Japanese have every right to honor their war dead.

I wondered when you would show up with that same old copy/pasted line. You don't get it, do you? I honestly don't care if ordinary Japanese citizens want to camp out there every day of the year. It's politicians using the place for shameless PR stunts to win brownie points with stupid right-wing nationalists that I find offensive.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

ending Western European (white) imperialism in Asia

Well Western (white) Europe cannot be the sole to blame for imperialism because Japan followed the exact same footsteps eager to stay strong and avoid ending up like China at the time.

Lets also not forget the liberation of Africa.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Those bayonets look longer than the 5cm blade permitted by the law. Guess the police will ignore them along with the black chyrsanthemum trucks.

When I went to yasukuni, they bayonettes were cardboard with tinfoil over them.

I can't speak as to these ones being the same, but knives are still illegal, so I doubt those ones are real knives.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I wonder if the average cannon fodder soldier who was drafted and died due to reckless leadership would be happy to have his ashes mixed with such leaders for eternity?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

藤原Today  02:24 pm JST

Paying your respects to relative's who died in wars is a very respectful thing to do.

Pretending to pray for peace and show respect for the war dead when your actual motive is getting money and votes is not at all respectful. It's a particularly odious form of opportunism, and I suspect that if they thought it served their interests better the politicians who continually visit Yasukuni would vote in favour of bulldozing over it and having it turned into a casino.

RecklessToday  04:00 pm JST

I wonder if the average cannon fodder soldier who was drafted and died due to reckless leadership would be happy to have his ashes mixed with such leaders for eternity?

Not just their ashes - their souls are apparently merged into one big communal kami. However they're all absolved of all their sins no matter how vile and despicable they were, so that's okay. Treble ritual sakes all round!

9 ( +12 / -3 )

A dreadful place. Should be knocked down or closed

0 ( +8 / -8 )

The war criminals should not have been interred at Yaskuni, which now makes it impossible to separate out ordinary conscripted soldiers, from those who ordered massacres in the name of the Emperor.

Furthermore the museum on the same grounds tries to gloss over Imperial Japans actions in China and throughout the areas under Japanese rule until 1945.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Would absolutely love to crash that party

0 ( +6 / -6 )

it should be noted that the end of WW2 also had

the beneficial effect of ending Western European (white) imperialism in Asia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_imperialism_in_Asia#Decolonisation_and_the_rise_of_nationalism_in_Asia

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

JtsnoseToday  05:27 pm JST

it should be noted that the end of WW2 also had

the beneficial effect of ending Western European (white) imperialism in Asia

Sounds absolutely lovely. Except that I think the plan was to replace it with Japanese imperialism. Besides - look at what's happened across Asia since the end of WW2, in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Burma and Cambodia. There have been a lot of people who haven't ended up any better off.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Look at all the cosplayers.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I cannot comment on the Yasukuni Shrine or the museum next door, never set foot in there, never will.

Tokyo is handbags and sensible shoes. Serious shopping.

Fathers been, insists I should go. I would rather eat my shopping before I venture into a commemoration of a war fashioned in hell.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

"We are purely paying respects to our war dead, like every other country around the world."

No, most definitely not. Imagine the outrage if something like that happened in Germany for instance.

Remembering the war and the war dead? Absolutely. But including war criminals and warmongers, but no thought about all the other non-Japanese victims of the war? No thank you.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

beneficial effect of ending Western European (white) imperialism in Asia

India was well on its way to independence (and partition?) anyway.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Oh, and WW2 also "had the effect" of ridding Japan of militarist government and ushering in a war-renouncing constitution.

Thanks Admiral Yamamoto!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

How on earth do historians depict the perverse irreconcilable depiction of Japan Imperial Army in full display above, I assume outside the Yasukuni Shrine, with the war crime atrocities, then at  same time commemorate the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Is there not a clear paradoxical moral clash/conflict of values?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

How is it honoring the dead by prancing around a shrine wearing a MILITARY uniform holding mock weapons???

I can’t see the peaceful message there....!

7 ( +10 / -3 )

itsonlyrocknrollToday  05:45 pm JST

I would rather eat my shopping before I venture into a commemoration of a war fashioned in hell.

That's not really what Yasukuni Shrine was supposed to be. It did serve the same purpose as similar institutions in other countries, until a bunch of priests with a covert revisionist agenda made it a political issue by enshrining the war criminals to vindicate the regime their relatives and many influential politicians in Japan had been involved in. They made it as sleazy and vulgar as everything else to do with the LDP and its sordid money, nepotism and cronyism politics.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Simon Foston, Frankly I have, how can I put this?, closed my mind, blocked off the symbolism, concept the Yasukuni Shrine/museum represents, a commemoration, how did my late Grandmother put it, an appreciation and respect to those who dedicated their precious lives to their mother country.

Grandmothers exact words. I looked after Grandma during the pandemic.

Grandma bequeathed me the families dairies and chronicles to write an historical account, facts and events the family endured over a given period of time.

I struggle to separate my own political and religious beliefs/opinions, some would quite rightly interpret as pious sanctimony.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

UK today marks 75th anniversary of Victory over Japan.

Could there not also be an acceptance that the people of Japan have changed beyond recognition, a country devoted to the world’s only constitution devoted to peace.

Yet the media wasted little time with an obligatory requirement of depicting the event with Yasukuni Shrine flags and fools.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

""but avoided a personal visit that would anger China and South Korea.""

Very SMART move, in the interest of prosperity, Peace, and harmony with Both Korea's, Taiwan, the Philippines, and China I think this is a very smart political move.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

There’s nothing wrong with honoring the war dead. Is there any country in the world that doesn’t honor its war dead?

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

"There’s nothing wrong with honoring the war dead. Is there any country in the world that doesn’t honor its war dead?"

Exactly!

No war criminals are honoured in the US of A, France, Australia, Canada, China and South Korea (especially).

Not even one.

British cemeteries are pristine.

Whiter than daz.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Does anybody here know, what is the exact difference between the '14 war criminals' and the other soldiers? Some may say everybody who goes to war becomes a war criminal - once he looses the war. Who declared the 14 as war criminals? The Japanese who went to Yasukuni today? They probably did not. So for them there is no reason not to go. However, already Ceased said 'Vae Victis'

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

And meanwhile, on the other side on the planet, Germans are dressed up as Nazi soldiers, remembering Hitler. Not!

UK is commemorating VJ Day today. No cosplay, just a sombre atmosphere with former soldiers remembering those who couldn't make it and died of malnutrition in POW camps.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Called it 3-4 days ago, said wasn't going but sending an offering!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

No war criminals are honoured in the US of A, France, Australia, Canada, China and South Korea (especially).

Not even one.

British cemeteries are pristine.

Whiter than daz.

Whether (and who are) war criminals or heros are determined politically, arbitrarily and mostly by the war victor. Terrible war crimes were also committed by the Allies, and have nothing to do with war outcomes or to which side you belonged. Enola Gay crew members were buried at the Arlington National Cemetery. They could be characterized as criminals of "nuclear holocaust". Other "mass killers" (not merely in WWII but subsequent postwar conflicts namely in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq etc.) are also buried, and honored as war heroes. Yet Japanese haven't protested nor intervened when US president or high-ranking officials pay homage to the site. At least both Japan and US though postwar relations have become mature enough to be able to agree to disagree. There are multiple stories and truths and it's only a matter of interpretations and choice.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Unfortunately, consciousness as side of war assailant seems to be thinned in Japan year by year.

Almost of talk about the war at present Japanese society is painful experience of Japanese.

in recent years, Japanese mainstream TV channels strengthen tendency that avoid to feature about war crime or cruelty of wartime Japan. 

They seem to be scared of pressure from Abe government's adorers who hate featuring it as "un-patriotic " "anti-Japan" "fake news".

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@Ascissor

beneficial effect of ending Western European (white) imperialism in Asia

India was well on its way to independence (and partition?) anyway.

That's right. And let's not forget, many in Burma/Myanmar were initially excited about the Japanese coming in to kick out the British, but after a year or so they were desperate to help the Brits kick them back out. Their "liberators" turned out to be way more oppressive.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Honoring the dead is fine but the problem is that the shrine shamelessly politicizes everything by including the war criminals and having a museum that glorifies the Japanese dead while criticizing everyone else.

I went to this “museum” over 10 years ago this was the enlightening explanation in English about Nanjing:

“After the Japanese surrounded Nanjing in December 1937, General Matsui Iwasne distributed maps to his men with foreign settlements and safety zones marked in red ink. Matsui told them that they were to observe military rules to the letter and that anyone committing unlawful acts would be severely punished. He also warned Chinese troops to surrender. But commander-in-chief Tang Shengzhi ignored the warning. Instead, he ordered his men to defend to the death, and then abandoned them. The Chinese were soundly defeated, suffering heavy casualties. Inside the city, residents were once again able to live their lives in peace."

2 ( +3 / -1 )

These clowns in uniform are likely members of your neighborhood Black Bus Association...all the reason you need to justify the continued US Military presence in Japan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I see the right wing cosplayers are having their day out.

That made me smile, Jimizo. I saw the photo before your comment, and I immediately remembered a bar I was taken to once back in the early 80s, in Shimonoseki. The bar had loads of old military uniforms that customers were encouraged to put on. But they were uniforms from various countries, and the general idea was "having a laugh". I got to dress as a Russian naval captain, and a few of my friends got to dress like the guys in the photo. It was weird but very funny. I'd like to think the guys in the photo were having just as much fun, but somehow I doubt it.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Yeah, nothing wrong... until you look a bit deeper..

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-53763059

But the underlying issue these days for causing the above, is the CCP... get rid of that, then you can start dealing with this rising Nationalism within all the other Countries... Nationalism is a Natural reaction for Protectionism, and can then lead to expansionism... which is what the Japanese did in the early 20'th century, and which now, we see the CCP trying to do ... in a different way.

Take heed.

This is not "Trump'ism" or whatever'ism, but real fact. Do you own research.... and indeed, I'd welcome seeing a real bit of investigation done by JT or its parent company, upon this matter.... You may have been noticing other.... mainstream media organisations catching onto this fact recently. I could quote them, but the list would go on.. the SCMP included!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What were the British doing in Asia? Educating brown and yellow people? Why is this never talked about?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I don't see problem with that. The same way Americans visit Arrigton Cementery, every nation should pay respect to their war dead.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Mitsuo MatsuyamaToday  06:33 am JST

I don't see problem with that. The same way Americans visit Arrigton Cementery, every nation should pay respect to their war dead.

A grossly misleading over-simplification of the situation.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Can you imagine German man wearing a Nazi uniform and doing this In Europe? August 15, 2020 Japan.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Simon, your argument would make sense if such visit were meant to glorify criminals, but it is not the case and you know that. There are 2 billion soldiers including women, children and elderly that fought for Japan. "War criminals" thing turn to be demagogy since people deny the fact that their memorial sites also have bad guys buried in those places.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

신재웅

Even small peace of clothes those guys link to things relate to the past. Probably this Korean boy thinks the purpose of military service is to kill people. No wonder why they condemn the practice to wear military clothes. By judging by his statement, I would assume that in Korea nobody use military clothes and everyone who join the army are bad people.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Mitsuo MatsuyamaToday  08:48 am JST

Simon, your argument would make sense if such visit were meant to glorify criminals, but it is not the case and you know that.

No, it's a grossly misleading over-simplification because Japan does have state-managed events and facilities for the purpose of honouring its war dead, just like other countries do. Japanese citizens are guaranteed the freedom to follow any religion they like so they can also go and pay their respects privately at a privately-run religious establishment like Yasukuni Shrine if they so choose. No one is saying they cannot do so, although some might find some of their practices distasteful, just like they might find fault with some of the more questionable aspects of other religions and point them out. Like I mentioned before though, ordinary people could camp out at the place and pray to Satan there for all I care.

I do know perfectly well that ordinary Japanese people most probably are visiting Yasukuni to pay respects to deceased relatives, and that politicians are doing so for self-serving political purposes. I don't think any of them really care about the war criminals all that much, but the shrine priests have nevertheless tainted the place by associating them with it.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Simon, I always pay respect to those who lost their lives for my family and for everyone today. If Americans, Canadian, Australian, and others can do it, so Japanese can do it as well. I personally don't care about your frustration regarding it. I have already explained it in a simple way, now if you have hard time to understand this simple thing, I can do nothing about it. Hugs!!!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I don't see problem with that. The same way Americans visit Arrigton Cementery, every nation should pay respect to their war dead.

You won't find anyone buried at Arlington that was found guilty of war crimes at trial and hung by the neck. Plus Arlington is not a place for "war dead". Its a cemetery for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families too.

That said, I bet there are plenty of war criminals buried there and its clear the American people have no stomach, will or courage to even attempt to identify them. That bit is on par with the Japanese rightists. The recent trial of Eddie Gallagher shows clearly that Americans truly think American military people can do no wrong, perhaps as a matter of DNA or something. Its embarrassing. So yeah, I feel I have a solid ground to stand on criticizing Yasukuni, but most of countrymen are horrible hypocrites if they do.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

“I do know perfectly well that ordinary Japanese people most probably are visiting Yasukuni to pay respects to deceased relatives, and that politicians are doing so for self-serving political purposes. I don't think any of them really care about the war criminals all that much, but the shrine priests have nevertheless tainted the place by associating them with it.”

And this is the problem. They are not taught that war criminals are enshrined there.

All politicians however should be banned.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

“Thanks Admiral Yamamoto!”

He was actually opposed to the war, but did his duty anyway

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Mitsuo MatsuyamaToday  12:01 pm JST

Simon, I always pay respect to those who lost their lives for my family and for everyone today. If Americans, Canadian, Australian, and others can do it, so Japanese can do it as well.

Sorry, was what I wrote in any way hard to understand:

"Japanese citizens are guaranteed the freedom to follow any religion they like so they can also go and pay their respects privately at a privately-run religious establishment like Yasukuni Shrine if they so choose."

I thought I was saying pretty much the same thing you are.

 I personally don't care about your frustration regarding it. 

That's an extremely disingenuous misrepresentation of my opinions that in no way reflects anything I have actually written, but rather, I suspect, what you would prefer to think they are. It's called a strawman argument.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Christopher GlenToday  01:09 pm JST

All politicians however should be banned.

In their paid working hours, sure. If they go as private citizens in their free time and keep very quiet about it, it's "don't ask don't tell" as far as I'm concerned. Thing is, they want to make a big show of it so that their right-wing nationalist constituents know they're getting value for their campaign donations and votes.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

a country devoted to the world’s only constitution devoted to peace.

Nonsense. It might be the biggest peace-loving population, but it's by far unique.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

noriahojanen

Thanks to make clear about this subject. Things are very easy to understand. The problem rely on national pride from those who have some kind of frustration against Japan. The way those people says sounds very hypocrite for following reasons:

a) The shrine was not build for purpose to honor criminals. In fact a huge number of those who are enshrined there were women, children and brave men who fought for Japan. Annually thousands of people from all of the world visit that shrine and all of them are not there because they love the criminals for sure.

b)People claim that that shrine should not be visited because there are 14 war criminals enshrined there. Ok, So, does only Japan have criminals? Were Other countries that was involved during the war pure, innocent and follower of Christ? For sure not. Even thought historians don't teach it, you don't need to think so hard to conclude that there were bad people in every country's armies back then and they were buried at those memorial places being classified as "heroes".

c)If we think that we should not go to a certain place because there are bad people being buried there, so we should not go to any other cemetery since good and bad souls are all put togueter in that same memorial place.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

You won't find anyone buried at Arlington that was found guilty of war crimes at trial and hung by the neck. Plus Arlington is not a place for "war dead". Its a cemetery for veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families too.

So do you mean Vanessa that bad American soldiers who killed and raped Asian ladies back in Vietnam War, Korean war and WW II was buried at Mars? As far as I know despite of their stupid action they were never judged and were treated as "heroes" in US. In fact American people back 1970s never recognized their mistakes for what they did during the Vietnam War and other wars.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Mitsuo MatsuyamaToday  08:28 pm JST

So... if westerners were to concede that there were war criminals from their own countries as well, whose remains should be re-buried in unmarked graves and whose names should be struck off war memorials, would you agree that the war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni should be... what's a good word - exorcised?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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