Yasukuni Shrine honors some 2.5 million war dead, but also senior military and political figures convicted of war crimes. Photo: AFP/File
politics

Suga sends ritual offering to Yasukuni Shrine

28 Comments
By Charly TRIBALLEAU

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga sent a ritual offering Saturday to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, which is seen by neighboring countries as a symbol of the nation's past militarism, especially during World War II.

Yasukuni Shrine honors some 2.5 million war dead, mostly Japanese, who perished in the country's wars since the late 19th century. But it also honors senior military and political figures convicted of war crimes by an international tribunal after WWII.

The prime minister sent a sacred masakaki tree in the name of the prime minister at the start of an annual autumn festival, a shrine spokeswoman said.

Suga, who took office last month, followed a rite conducted by his nationalist predecessor Shinzo Abe, who also sent ritual offerings to the shrine in recent years.

But Suga is not expected to make a pilgrimage during the two-day biannual event, local media reported, as he will start a four-day trip to Vietnam and Indonesia on Sunday, his first overseas visit as premier.

Abe visited the shrine in 2013, sparking fury from wartime foes China and South Korea, and earning a rare diplomatic rebuke from close ally the United States.

Since then, Abe refrained from paying tributes at the shrine in person but other conservative politicians continued, in particular on August 15 to mark Japan's WWII surrender.

Abe visited Yasukuni days after he resigned in September.

© 2020 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

28 Comments
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Of course.

Just like his master did every time.

2 ( +15 / -13 )

Suga sends a message: social distancing himself from Yasukuni's contagious can of worms.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Japan's neighbors should not make a fuss about Yasukuni, but PM Suga missed a chance to become a truly respected politician.

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

Good for Suga. Japan's country, Japan's rules, Japan's right to honor their millions of dead.

Why do Japans many whining neighbors see fit to tell Japan how to honor her fallen. There all bullies, that's why.

-5 ( +15 / -20 )

As PM, it's his obligation to respect and remember sacrifices of his own veterans.

War crimes is a separate, and independent issue, Japan's neighbours should respect that.

-3 ( +13 / -16 )

Like Abe, like Suga-son! Joined by the hip!

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

War crimes is a separate, and independent issue, Japan's neighbours should respect that.

Guess you never figured out that to the neighbors, and plenty of Japanese too, they are one and the same.

Why do Japans many whining neighbors see fit to tell Japan how to honor her fallen. There all bullies, that's why.

Dont know much about history huh?

-1 ( +14 / -15 )

Suga. An old man with a fossilized mind, unable to discern the spite that he displays by honoring dead war criminals. Another conservative right-wing reactionary.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

Good. Every nation has a right to honour its war dead, giving a ritual offering doesn't mean you are specifically honouring Class A and B war criminals.

Grow up!

-1 ( +13 / -14 )

Suga. An old man with a fossilized mind, unable to discern the spite that he displays by honoring dead war criminals. Another conservative right-wing reactionary.

No worries..its what makes it all go around. Stability, deflation, all that good stuff

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Fighto!Today  04:42 pm JST

Good for Suga. Japan's country, Japan's rules,

Japan's rules forbid politicians from participating in any religious activities in any official capacity.

oldman_13Today  07:46 pm JST

Good. Every nation has a right to honour its war dead...

Are you still totally ignorant of the restrictions imposed by the Japanese Constitution, no matter how many times they're spelled out?

3 ( +15 / -12 )

Simon FostonToday  08:04 pm JST

Good. Every nation has a right to honour its war dead...

Are you still totally ignorant of the restrictions imposed by the Japanese Constitution, no matter how many times they're spelled out?

What exact part of the Japanese constitution states that war dead may not be honored?

-6 ( +10 / -16 )

it is absolutely alright for Suga even to pay personal visit to Yasukuni shrine, it is just a respect to those who die in the war. War criminals? maybe you forget about My Lai massacre, No Gun Ri massacre, Bikini island, Hiroshima, Nagasaki etc.

-1 ( +11 / -12 )

Is there any precedent for reinterment in Shinto?

It seems this entire pickle that every PM finds himself in could simply end if they'd just 'move' the several dozen war criminals someplace else, freeing the other millions of souls there to be honored uncontroversially.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Just another slogan from Japan to the world nobody are really understanding or accepting it, not to say only South Korea or China. It's controversial what this gvt. of Abe's tail is still implicating. Why all of those Japanese soldiers sacrificed in ww2 must have the same Yasukuni Shrine if the war criminals are there, too? Just separate them and pray for the only sacrificed ones in another shrine. Well, it's another political affair, easy to know it!.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

OssanAmericaToday  08:27 pm JST

What exact part of the Japanese constitution states that war dead may not be honored?

More sanctimonious bleating about honouring the war dead, not to mention a disingenuous misrepresentation of my comment. It would be obvious what I actually meant if you quoted the first part as well.

MarkToday  08:37 pm JST

it is absolutely alright for Suga even to pay personal visit to Yasukuni shrine, it is just a respect to those who die in the war. 

Of course it would be. It's never "personal" with the LDP, though - it's good PR. Nothing to do with respect for anyone else at all.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Ah well it was good while it lasted... what is a ritual offering? A basket of mikan? A brown paper envelope?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

So Suga is a chip off the old block.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

He could have been a contender, he could have been somebody

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

freedom of speech, freedom of visit.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Another Japanese PM I despise.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

EVERY COUNTRY honors war deads in its own way..

As every country, Japan honors its war deads and it's Japan's way and Japan's right..

Like it us or not..

Get over it people..

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Convince 1 Japanese that Japan is more a criminal agent than a victim of WW2 is a waste of time.

When that 1 Japanese is 87 years old it's impossible to change any of his believes.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

KentarogaijinToday  04:02 am JST

EVERY COUNTRY honors war deads in its own way..

In Japan there are official commemoration ceremonies every Autumn at public facilities. That's how the nation honours its war dead. If private citizens also want to go to Yasukuni Shrine that's no one's business but their own. Politicians should go as private citizens and stop making such a fanfare about it. Can you not see what their true motives are?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

mtuffiziToday  02:37 am JST

freedom of speech, freedom of visit.

Why doesn't the Emperor visit, then?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Simon FostonOct. 17  10:43 pm JST

OssanAmericaToday  08:27 pm JST

What exact part of the Japanese constitution states that war dead may not be honored?

More sanctimonious bleating about honouring the war dead, not to mention a disingenuous misrepresentation of my comment. It would be obvious what I actually meant if you quoted the first part as well.

You can call quoting your very own words "disingenuous misrepresentation, but you can't answer the question. Fine.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

OssanAmericaToday  04:23 pm JST

You can call quoting your very own words "disingenuous misrepresentation...

Yes I can, because it is.

...but you can't answer the question.

It's a stupid question based on the insinuation that I think it's somehow unconstitutional for Japan to honour its war dead, which is patently ridiculous. I have made my understanding of the constitutional situation clear more than once. If you can't figure it out what it is from my previous comments, including recent ones in this thread, too bad because I can't be bothered to spell it out to you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Come on, Yasukuni lovers and LDP fanboys. Can you answer this question? If it's Japan's right to honour its war dead any way it chooses without criticism from people from other countries, and Japan chooses to honour its war dead with Yasukuni Shrine visits, why doesn't the Emperor visit as head of state and symbol of the nation? Could it be that the matter isn't quite as simple as you all like to make out?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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