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Abe defends ministers' visit to Yasukuni shrine

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Good for Abe!

-9 ( +10 / -19 )

Abe totally schooled the DPJ member who addressed that issue yesterday during the session. Poor woman.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Abe added that one of his jobs was “to protect the pride (of the Japanese people) built on history and tradition and to protect national interests,” Kyodo said.

By instigating a war with it's neighbors? I don't think so. That along with the number of people in this country that are apathetic to what their leaders do publicly in the name of the country and Abe is doing more harm then good.

But this all fits in Abe's master plan to control Japan.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

By instigating a war with it's neighbors? I don't think so. That along with the number of people in this country that are apathetic to what their leaders do publicly in the name of the country and Abe is doing more harm then good.

Magical leap there. Lot of these type of posts recently such as mind reading what these lawmakers are thinking when they go to Yadukuni.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

No matter in what capacity or form Japanese leaders visit Yasukuni shrine, in essence it is an attempt to deny Japan’s history of aggression through militarism

That's a pretty bold statement for South Korea. I guess Seoul should have the last say in all spiritual matters involving Japanese because of something that happened around 70 years ago.

She is saying that even if they go to reflect or meditate,

Even if they go to pray for the souls of the dead,

Even if they go to see the memorial of THEIR OWN RELATIVES,

That SOMEHOW means the Japanese official policy is to cover their tracks and deny the death and destruction. Talking about building a huge bridge there....

And yet, Japan sees the irritation and does not yield. These two nations... agitating each other like brothers in the back seat of their parents' car on a road trip.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Yes, I understand no one, and especially elected officials, wants to be told they can't do something. The general community is not protesting either so it seems the general community also supports this. The problem to me is not the action but the location.

It would be simple to create a new "memorial" location to honor people who sacrificed their lives in wars. Many countries around the world celebrate, a "Remembrance Day" for those who fought and died in wars at special monuments set up in parks and the main government buildings - not religious places.

By continually visiting Yasukuni, Abe [and the people of Japan] are simply showing no empathy to the feelings of their Asia neighbours. This is the issue. Empathy allows us to see the world from divergent and even opposing perspectives, and to experience the feelings of another person or group. It's an essential component for todays global community and citizen. I hope more people in the government would show more empathy to all citizens otherwise they simply look arrogant to the world.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

"Tradition" rearing its ugly head as justification again. And tradition is just what we want it to be.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Magical leap there. Lot of these type of posts recently such as mind reading what these lawmakers are thinking when they go to Yadukuni.

Magical leap? Let's see, in the past three years while the DPJ was in power there were few if any reports of any of these LDP "lawmakers" visiting Yasukuni, they've only re-started going because Abe and the LDP are in power.

Abe's policies and proposed revisions to the constitution, education, and his overtly militaristic stance towards the Senkaku Islands dispute, (but notice he hasn't taken the same approach with Takeshima now has he), his stance towards NK, are all pointing towards pushing for a confrontation with China.

I think not.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

It's OK to remember those who died in wars, but Yasukuni seems to be a particularly inappropriate place to do it. Yasukuni celebrates militarism and glorifies war. Diet members should hang their heads in shame when they remember those who lost their lives due to the actions of their predecessors. Instead, they appear belligerent and unrepentant, totally lacking in remorse.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

These official government visits to Yasukuni to honor soldiers who suffered as a result of serving their country should be coupled with similarly high-profile official visits by the same lawmakers to a major shrine honoring non-Japanese and Japanese alike who suffered at the hands of Japan's military. Doing so would render the Yasukuni visits much less provocative and insulting to Japan's neighbors, and would underpin the Japanese government's sincerity regarding their hope for peace and positive bilateral relations.

I am bothered by this notion, evidenced by actions of the government and school curricula, that "to protect the pride" of the Japanese people (as Abe puts it) equates to fixating on the suffering endured by the citizens and soldiers of Japan while paying little or no heed to the suffering caused by Japan's past nationalism.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Magical leap? Let's see, in the past three years while the DPJ was in power there were few if any reports of any of these LDP "lawmakers" visiting Yasukuni, they've only re-started going because Abe and the LDP are in power.

then how do we know that they didn't go personally? its obvious that china/korea are only using this to pressure the japanese government and china very clearly said that nobody should mettle in their internal affairs, so why shouldn't japan tell them the same? why must the japan try to appease china? if china attacks japan for asserting its sovereign rights, isn't china wrong? isn't there the religious freedom in japan to worship what we want to? there certainly isn't in china.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

isn't there the religious freedom in japan to worship what we want to? there certainly isn't in china.

Yes there is religious freedom but what these people did was not in the name of religion, it was political.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Good for Abe!

NO!! BAD SHINZO! BAD!!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Of course China (and Korea) will use any situation as leverage against Japan. It is in the nature of the region we live in. Europe might be their model but they have all eschewed such a relationship in the name of their own petty interests. Interests which actually imperil world peace, despite Japan's apparent and trite championing it at every international gathering. But they are too short-sighted and these visits are simply proof of that.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yes Yubaru. Magical leap indeed. Did the relations between these nations improve during the DPJ? Definitely not for you had the Senkaku's (ramming incident, continuos encroachment), Takeshima visit by SK president and his subsequent remark as to Emperorto make an apology, and of course, the comfort women issue where they allowed the bronze statute to be situated right in front of the Embassy despite the plea to remove them.

As to your second paragraph, where do I start. Revising the constitution, wow!! How rare is that? How many revisions have other nations done to their constitution? Many. Overly militaristic?? Excuse me? I could of swore it was the Chinese that locked the radar during DPJ era, no? And as to Takeshima, what on earth are you talking about? Did the Japanese vessel encroach the islands like what China is doing to Senkaku?

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

@Yubaru

what these people did was not in the name of religion, it was political.

How did you come to this conclusion? Do you have some information that JT and the rest of us don't? Everyone is quick to jump on the 'aggravation' bandwagon as if it was the most important issue in their lives. If those who are representing their country want to pay homage to their war dead (newsflash, most countries do) then leave them to it.

Here in the UK, you'd be hard pressed to find a town of decent stature that hasn't got a war memorial of some kind, yet you don't hear the French, German or Irish moaning every time we honor our dead.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Yes, James Rankin, a memorial here and there to honour the dead might be acceptable, but you might want to delve into the history of Yasukuni shrine before you make the comparison (or even go there and see its heroic version of history). I don't think anyone is arguing that a secular memorial would not be appropriate but that has been resisted by nationalists for decades and it is to these nationalists, either outside or inside his own head, that Abe and his ilk are pandering. The country has never thoroughly dealt with them or their cause. And they are likely to encourage Japan to make the same stupid mistakes.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Shame.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

And also Yubaru. Key members of the current LDP cabinet members went last year. Abe, Tanugaki, Aso, Inada, and Shindo who's grandfather was Tadamichi Kuribayashi.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

James - They don't, but if Germany had war memorials paying specific homage to Goring, Hess, Speer etc, and Angela Merkel was making it a point to make a trip to that memorial every year, then I think it would definitely be a talking point in Europe.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

James - They don't, but if Germany had war memorials paying specific homage to Goring, Hess, Speer etc, and Angela Merkel was making it a point to make a trip to that memorial every year, then I think it would definitely be a talking point in Europe.

The operative words there are "specific homage."

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Scrote

Yasukuni celebrates militarism and glorifies war

How?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Why is the president visiting the national cemetery of his country of any business in the minds of people in other countries?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Enshrined people cannot be taken out. Also, USA has no Class-A war criminals cause they won the war

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Let's just put it this way. Abe himself dare not visit the Yasukuni shrine. Can we therefore conclude he dare not offend China and Korea? Don't give excuse he visited before he become PM, that is irrelevant. Just say Kozumi have more guts than Abe. That is not a sign of strength but of weakness when he himself did not dare to visit the shrine!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The NY Times editorial board published a well-reasoned op-ed on April 23. It ended by saying: "Instead of exacerbating historical wounds, Mr. Abe should focus on writing Japan’s future, with an emphasis on improving its long-stagnant economy and enhancing its role as a leading democracy in Asia and beyond. "

This ill-timed mass official government visit to Yasukuni was horribly counter-productive, and brings with it a predictable negative outcome. It's time Japan and its neighbors focus on building positive relations toward improving business conditions and security in the region.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

This is unnecessary and antagonistic. It does nothing to forward peaceful relationships in East Asia.

People do realize there is a sharp distinction between honoring the war dead from one's country and honoring 14 convicted war criminals. The Chinese and Korean governments are objecting to the latter.

Are people also aware that the 14 war criminals were, in fact, enshrined in 1978? To enshrine those 14 three decades after the war ended was a needlessly hostile act.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Cubic:

Pay a visit to the Yasukuni war museum to find out how Yaskuni glorifies war.

Paying your respects to the war dead at Yasukuni is like holding a memorial service for the Newtown massacre victims at the NRA headquarters.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@ guyintokyo

Correct. May be the 14 convicted war criminals remains be removed from the Yasukuni shrine and be buried by their descendants in other shrines of their choice and let their descendants pay their respect annually to them but leave the Yasukuni shrine to the rest of the war dead to be honoured annually by the Japanese citizen.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Are people also aware that the 14 war criminals were, in fact, enshrined in 1978? To enshrine those 14 three decades after the war ended was a needlessly hostile act.

And yet it took 21 visits by PM to finally have China complain about it and it took 24 years for Korea.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

@Sensato @guyintokyo

I tell you nationalism is on the rise in Japan, just like before WWII. I hope America threaten to drop the Security Treaty with Japan if she remilitarise from the change in the Constitution. America cannot prevent a democratic process from producing that kind of outcome but can warn Abe not to proceed or lost US support. The neighbors better be scared since Japan already have all the components to become a war monger instead of just being defensive. Remember Japan is a resource poor country and this was a driver for her aggressions in all the World Wars I & II. We should all be afraid of a desperate Japan. All she need to do is just put the 'Lego' parts together which she already have!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@nigelboyApr. 25, 2013 - 11:31AM JST

Are people also aware that the 14 war criminals were, in fact, enshrined in 1978? To enshrine those 14 three decades after the war ended was a needlessly hostile act.

And yet it took 21 visits by PM to finally have China complain about it and it took 24 years for Korea.

For illustration, it is like the long arm of the law, it will catch a criminal no matter how long that criminal had being given a pass. So don't use your example. Come up with something else more novel. My last post to you was Deleted, you must be very happy.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Tony Ew,

My condolences for the delete. I'll try another.

What's fundamentally different from this year's visits to same time last year's visits which the reaction from both Korea and China are like night and day?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@ nigelboy

The fundamental difference of this year to the last was the large number of ministers together with members of parliament visited the shrine. That's why the reaction of both SK and China as you so put are like night and day.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

The fundamental difference of this year to the last was the large number of ministers together with members of parliament visited the shrine. That's why the reaction of both SK and China as you so put are like night and day.

Large number of ministers? I count 3. Is there a limit to numbers now since it was't too long ago that they just didn't like the Prime Ministers to go there. In a few years, would these lawmakers need permission from these two nations to go to the bathroom?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I tell you nationalism is on the rise in Japan, just like before WWII. I hope America threaten to drop the Security Treaty with Japan if she remilitarise from the change in the Constitution.

First off, there obviously is a reason for the growth of nationalism in Japan and believe it or not, the reason is mostly external, not domestic factors. The most important one probably being the recent belligerent behaviour of China - not only to Japan but to the other weaker countries in the region. So China's behaviour may as well be one of the reasons for so many polititians visiting Yasukuni (if you believe that their actions are political.)

Second, unlike Japan, which has maintained peace and supported many of the countries which suffered due to its imperialistic actions in the first half of the 20th centure, both China and Korea have nurtured nationalism and anti-Japanese sentiments, while very conveniently ignoring the compensations and economic support given to them by Japan after WW2.

Third, you should know that Japan, despite being encouraged by the US to create and maintain its own military, has so far refused to do so. So if you do not want the US military in the region, you might as well accept the fact that once they leave (which due to recent political developments is highly unlikely) you will have a real military force in Japan, not just a self-defence agency.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

To the people defending Abe's words and actions, I ask a sincere question: do you think Japan was correct when they enshrined 14 war criminals in 1978? Do you think Japan is correct to annually honor them?

What, exactly, about honoring war criminals do you find defensible? I've yet to hear a sober, eloquent justification.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

To the people defending Abe's words and actions, I ask a sincere question: do you think Japan was correct when they enshrined 14 war criminals in 1978? Do you think Japan is correct to annually honor them?

Japan did not enshrine them. Yasukuni, a private entity, decided to enshrine them just like they decided to enshrine over a thousand so called war criminals in late 50's. And in Japan, they are not war criminals for they were exonerated by the Japanese government and people in the 50's. Did the rest of the world at that time had trouble with this? Let's see. There was a convicted so called Class A war criminal who became a foreign minister in the mid Fifties. His primary goal was for Japan to gain a membership in the U.N. through lobbying many nations. Imagine that! A convicted class A criminal asking other nations for approval. How did that turn out?

2 ( +9 / -7 )

To the people defending Abe's words and actions, I ask a sincere question: do you think Japan was correct when they enshrined 14 war criminals in 1978? Do you think Japan is correct to annually honor them?

Japan did not enshrine them. The temple did. It being a private temple allows it to do as it pleases. Before these 14 criminals were enshrined, over 2,400,000 were already enshrined there. And why do you believe that the politicians or ordinary people pray specifically to the kami of those 14? Also, being kami, those 14 names are not considered people anymore. They are souls which should rest in peace and not create any problems to the living.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

One might also ask why, when Shinto shrines leave the matter of death and the deceased to Buddhist temples, this particular shrine, Yasukuni, has such an interest in honoring the dead. Though, of course, Buddhist temples too are far from averse to honoring past militarists, especially if there is a "donation" involved. And this really is the part of the point. Religious organisations do not provide a rallying point against the regime, and never have, nor a conscience around which opponents might rally. They always were tightly bound and co-opted into the political system either formally from the Edo period onwards or informally after World War Two. It is frankly ridiculous to call Yasukuni an independent entity when it plays such regular host to the powermongers of Japan, even in their alleged "private capacity" and has the sympathies and donations of the rightists who, by threat and persuasion, influence the insecure and emotionally-abused members of Japan's political elite. It is fully part of an ugly rightist political network that the Japanese people would do well to eschew, otherwise they might find themselves fighting it out with their neighbors again. Only their next occupiers may not be quite as well disposed towards them as the last ones were.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Japan has freedom of religion. Does China know what that means?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Yeah, that's right, Miyabi, freedom to be Buddhists one day, Christians the next, Shintoists the day after, maybe even Jews when the Star of David takes their fancy, without really understanding any one of them.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Magical leap there. Lot of these type of posts recently such as mind reading what these lawmakers are thinking when they go to Yadukuni.

To be fair Nigelboy it isn't that much of a magical leap when they are rattling sabres every other day over Senkaku. And I'm talking about both sides.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japan has freedom of religion. Does China know what that means?

The problem with pointing fingers is that a few of your own are pointing back at you. Japan also had it's dark period within living memory. Not that long ago Japan didn't have much freedom of religion either and went on a killing, maiming and raping expedition throughout Asia in the name of a certain godman. I'm not pointing my finger here at Japan, I think it is a wonderful country but just saying that because of it's dark past people like you could really develop a little more compassion for your neighbour societies. Many people there don't enjoy the same opportunities and freedoms that you do. Much easier to be frightened and angry than to cultivate compassion I guess but perhaps it might be more painful in the long run.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@ JaneM

"Third you should know that Japan despite being encouragedy US to create and maintained its military has so far refuse to do so...."

Well at least Japan could save a hell lot of money in defense budget having US to guarantee its security. It is a good strategy.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

First off, there obviously is a reason for the growth of nationalism in Japan and believe it or not, the reason is mostly external, not domestic factors.

Wah wah wah wah...it's not my fault he did it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Soon we will be calling him "Honest Abe" And Beat Takeshi will be asked to star in a biopic of his courageous defence of Japan's history.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Soon we will be calling him "Honest Abe" And Beat Takeshi will be asked to star in a biopic of his courageous defence of Japan's history.

I think I'll wait until I can watch it telly.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

“My ministers will not yield to any kind of intimidation,”

Says the lackey trying to intimidate but succeeding only in making himself look like the arse he is. He will, however, yield to tummy aches at the drop of a dime and quit a job he is obviously not qualified for.

And anyway, this is no surprise -- the guys grandfather himself was a war criminal, so why wouldn't he deny history?

PaulJ: "Wah wah wah wah...it's not my fault he did it."

Well, yeah, that's what Abe wants the history books to say.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

What I really don't understand is why most of the posts are either completing condemning Japan or unequivocally supporting them. If (mainly) foreigners take these kind of stances how the hell are Japanese or Chinese/Koreans going find any kind resolution to their problems? Surely there is enough room for a bit of self reflection on all sides. This kind of I'm right/you're wrong mentality will always produce conflict. Pride can be a very dangerous thing.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

the guys grandfather himself was a war criminal, so why wouldn't he deny history?

This half the reason why all this is happening

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

My ministers will not yield to any kind of intimidation

If it is anyone other than me doing the intimidation.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Stay on topic please. Your reference to Abe's illness in 2007 is irrelevant and reflects poorly on your ability to post a cogent argument.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Miyabi Tanaka: "Japan has freedom of religion. Does China know what that means?"

Japan has freedom FROM religion (a good or bad thing, depending on what you believe), given that the 55% of Japanese who say they are 'Buddhist' get married at a Shinto shrine and don't practice one iota. Well, okay, that's not entirely true -- a small percentage of that percent DO enthusiastically practice in various sects. Others, though, like Abe (not this time) and these politicians, suddenly 'become religious' when it suits either a political agenda or in times when they are in trouble and can't find their own way out.

"Abe added that one of his jobs was “to protect the pride (of the Japanese people) built on history and tradition and to protect national interests,” Kyodo said."

You see? It's not one bit about religion -- it's all about trying to one up other nations and express some sense of superiority, which is definitely not deserved in Abe's case. In this case when they honour criminals among the war dead, claim they are NOT criminals, or like some posters on this site ask where you are from or claim you can't speak a language when they don't like what you say, they can try to undermine others and pretend in their minds they are still winning.

I still find the argument amusing that many wingers make: "South Korea and China should just move on!" while defending people who are going to 'remember' history. Kind of illustrates the mind-frame others are protesting against.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

smithinjapan - actually it's probably about 95% about religion for us. Showing proper respect for the ancestor. The very small political element is that Japanese politicians understand that they are elected by the people of Japan. If they go to Yasukuni and show respect, they get votes. The leaders of China or Korea do not cast votes in domestic elections, and so their opinions are not important.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Hiroyuki: " actually it's probably about 95% about religion for us. Showing proper respect for the ancestor. "

No disrespect, but while that may be religious-like conviction, it is not true religion. Religion is not a convenience you visit and then go eat some botan-mochi or o-hagi when your done any more than doing the laundry because it needs to be done, except the latter is needed. I have absolutely nothing against ANY religion, and you can check my post history to see I defend everything from the right to believe in Islam or Shinto to the basic precepts of the Bhagivad Gita (save the war part), the visits have NOTHING to do with religious belief.

Showing respect for an ancestor is not a religion any more than spitting on them is. Again, that is meant with zero disrespect, but to point out the obvious -- a RECORD number of politicians visited Yasukuni. When? Ah, just 'by chance' around the time more and more Chinese ships go around the disputed isles. Can you HONESTLY say you don't think the visits are politically motivated?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

they go to Yasukuni and show respect, they get votes. The leaders of China or Korea do not cast votes in domestic elections, and so their opinions are not important.

Wow and Japanese people can't understand why they have bad relations with all their neighbours. When those relations begin to turn really sour remember you said this please.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

PaulJ: "Wow and Japanese people can't understand why they have bad relations with all their neighbours. When those relations begin to turn really sour remember you said this please."

Bingo! but watch the poster you quoted backtrack and talk about 'freedom of religion'.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The lesson that the right wing radicals seem to have failed to learn is that post-War and the defeat of the nationalist politics of those days, the newly reconsituted Nation is founded on a Constitution that is meant to separate State from Shrine.

One of the key segments of the Occupation was to negate the notion of religion as a part of state policy.

The Shrine should not be the public spectacle object of partisan political pandering to promote a Nationalist agenda.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Enshrined" doesn't really mean much. The 14 Class A War Criminals' bodies or ashes aren't even there. And we are talking about victor's justice in that Japan's enemies at the time (the Allied forces etc.) decided who should be hung. China always says it doesn't interfere in other sovereign states' business and tells other countries to do the same so they should butt out. Korea too. I'm sure there are some pretty dodgy soldiers buried in many war cemeteries around the world. If some people want to go and pray for peace at those places, let them. I don't think it glorifies war at all. Lest we forget......

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Enshrined people cannot be taken out.

Says who? Based on what? Is a shinto priest infallible? Isn't the enshrinement of class A war criminals some form of kegare? What impact does it have on the judgement when the highest authority in Shinto, the Tenno, refrains from visiting Yasukuni?

I'd like to understand more about Shintoism, so I hope to get some serious answers.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hokoonchi: "The lesson that the right wing radicals seem to have failed to learn is that post-War and the defeat of the nationalist politics of those days, the newly reconsituted Nation is founded on a Constitution that is meant to separate State from Shrine."

What are you talking about?? Clearly they visit in a private capacity..... no wait, they sign in or donate with their titles. Well then clearly they are Shinto believers..... wait, they only go when it'll get them more votes. Okay, well clearly they are doing as they promise and saying it's in the nation's best interest.... oh wait, while they run away from a flotilla of Chinese boats and have to defend themselves and say no war crimes occurred after Korean's burning a flag from the time when Japan was committing war crimes!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Maybe Kim Jong Un would fire a missile towards the right wingers and say "oops..."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Please get info about Yasukuni Jinja in WikiPedia. It was created by Emperor Meiji to comemorate people who died in Boshin War. that created Meiji Ishin. Its Honden has 2,456,553 names,etc. It also shrined people who died for shogunate's side. Please read WiKiPedia. Also read Meiji Ishin. It also inclklude foreign people's names, women, children, animals who protected their master ladies. Check PM Abe's family origin and Boshin Senso winners' area to see why he visited Yasukuni Jinja. Yasu is Pacification Kuni is country if translated. Also reseaching shinto and Buddhism in Japan might enhance you people's knowledge of Japanese people's mentality. .

2 ( +3 / -1 )

gonemad Apr. 25, 2013 - 11:01PM JST

Enshrined people cannot be taken out.

Says who? Based on what? Is a shinto priest infallible? Isn't the enshrinement of class A war criminals some form of kegare? What impact does it have on the judgement when the highest authority in Shinto, the Tenno, refrains from visiting Yasukuni?

I'd like to understand more about Shintoism, so I hope to get some serious answers.

I don't know what all of the rules are in Shinto. But the reports on the names on those lists at the Shrine that I have found state that the names cannot be expunged because of Shinto rules. It being a religion, the Government of Japan cannot order the Shrine to remove the names because of the Constitutional guaranty of freedom of religion.

Apparently, those religious rules do, however, permit appending a note or something next to the name in certain circumstances, like say when the individual that is named actually is still alive.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The Shrine attempts an explanation of what is going on at its own website. Essentially, the wiki says more or less the same thing. It is a matter of religious beliefs. Those beliefs may be objectionable to non-followers of that faith but this would not be the first time that a religion has rules or beliefs that have proven to be objectionable to people who are not of that faith ... and sometime even amongst those who are of that faith.

The question still remains when and why those 8 became listed at the Shrine but that question is a religious one. The problem being of course that the source of those religious ideas is what was relied upon by the militarist propaganda flacks during the time that Japan went to War, to justify actions and encourage the people to go along and give their lives to support the agenda.

Japanese Nationalism is in that sense twisted together with what was said to be Shinto orthodoxy of that time and so it is more difficult to disengage. Todays politicians in Japan seem incapable of distinguishing between those things for which Japan rightfully should be very proud and those things which clouded minds and caused the Nation to believe in military expansionism.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

HokoOnchi: "The Shrine attempts an explanation of what is going on at its own website."

Yeah, and no doubt it's unbiased.

"Those beliefs may be objectionable to non-followers of that faith but this would not be the first time that a religion has rules or beliefs that have proven to be objectionable to people who are not of that faith ... and sometime even amongst those who are of that faith."

All the power to the non-believers who go there and prey nonetheless, I just don't like it when people claim it's for freedom of religion and not the obvious power grab. Why do they need to sign in under their titles if it is indeed true believe and not politics? Answer is they do not, ever.

"The question still remains when and why those 8 became listed at the Shrine but that question is a religious one."

True to an extent. If Hitler had the chance to confess his crimes and say his Hail Marys he would as well be enlightened and now in heaven. Doesn't matter what he did in life -- it only matters he acknowledged god at the end to suit the people in the church. Would that make him worthy of praise?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Instead of going to WikiPedia to read about Yasukuni Shrine, just go to the shrine's homepage. There is information in English. You can read for yourself what the shrine is about in their own words. It is pretty straightforward and a definite sense of mood or attitude can be easily understood. You can, of course, agree or disagree with it.

@toshiko

Also reseaching shinto and Buddhism in Japan might enhance you people's knowledge of Japanese people's mentality.

I think the mentality IS understood, and clearly some people don't like or agree with it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

To those who claim that they are certain that these lawmakers are doing this strictly for political purpose because they sign with their titles along with their names, how many of those 168 lawmakers did exactly just that? Give me the list of those who signed their titles and those who did not. And no. I'm not playing "prove that they didn't sign" onus probandi along with many other fallacies that's been displayed here.

As I stated on another similar article, the spring festival dates are reserved specifically to "pray for peace". These lawmakers decided to go on those dates. Now, instead of speculating what they were thinking, offer some proof for a change.

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I think mentality is not a proper word. Both Shinto and Buddhism began with copycatting Chinese culture. Copycat and transform into something as if Japanese unique culture has been still practiced. Ocha-dou, Ikebana, even cars and computers. Japanese people have 'me-too' mentality. Not in USA.

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But the reports on the names on those lists at the Shrine that I have found state that the names cannot be expunged because of Shinto rules.

Yes, but where do these rules come from? Who stated them the first time? Even religious rules don't appear out of the nowhere. The Yasukuni shrine has been established in the Meiji period and apparently no similar institution has existed long before. The other gokoku jinja only appear little earlier around the end of the shogunate. Thus the rule certainly is no older than that time and it should be possible to trace back the origin. I might be wrong, but I can't help suspecting that this rule has been created by the priests at Yasukuni as a convenient excuse. How valid can this rule then be in the overall context of Shintoism?

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With all due respect, perhaps you could balance out what Japan has done in regards to Senkaku that you would consider "sabre rattling". Bare in mind of course is that as of today, Japan holds at least, internationally recognized administration of the islands.

I agree with you, on this particular issue the aggression is coming from the Chinese side.

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Yes, but where do these rules come from? Who stated them the first time? Even religious rules don't appear out of the nowhere. The Yasukuni shrine has been established in the Meiji period and apparently no similar institution has existed long before. The other gokoku jinja only appear little earlier around the end of the shogunate. Thus the rule certainly is no older than that time and it should be possible to trace back the origin. I might be wrong, but I can't help suspecting that this rule has been created by the priests at Yasukuni as a convenient excuse. How valid can this rule then be in the overall context of Shintoism?

I wouldn't so much characterize as written rule or what not because the whole point of 合祀 (the closest English word is enshrinment) was to keep their spirits there. The Meiji period rule that you refer to are basically merging of two Jinjya's where one jinjya's spirits (the best English word that I could come up with) through ceremony are "transferred" to another one.

But realiastically, do you think this makes a difference? Suppose Yasukuni official stated that they used a "white out" or "shredded" the 霊璽簿 (the list) to appease the naysayers. Do you honestly think that's the end? I can see them demanding Yasukuni to show evidence that the ceremony to which to transfer specific spirits (even though that does not exist) and show verifiable proof that the spirts are actually gone.

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Goushi is 'deify together'. or 'worship together in this case/

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I wrote WikiPedia instead of advertisement by Yasukuni Jinja. Korean people have many many reason to get mad at Japan. Check Picture of the Day to see how they created a phony Japanese flag and distorting. The title is Sending A Message. People who commented did not catch but I wrote 2 comments on the last comments. There is a Japanese princess who married to Korean prince and she returned to Korea. She did charity works. I read about her miserable life in Japan in a magazine. Another princess who marriied to Manchuria princess returned to China by help of Mao Tse Tong and Shu On lai. Japan was not place for even them. When I was in Japan, in our area, we thought Yasukuni was for victims of Japanese wars.

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@smithinjapan

Visiting a shrine and wishing Japan to be like before WW2 to repeat ancestors, are two different thing. Visiting the shrine may be disrespectful to war victims in other Asian country, true. But it doesn't mean Japan is not accepting defeat and trying to repeat history.

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@smithinjapan

*HokoOnchi: "The Shrine attempts an explanation of what is going on at its own website."

Yeah, and no doubt it's unbiased.*

Biased? It is a religious website. There's no such thing as bias when it comes to religious belief.

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This is quite hilarious to see some people trying here to defend Abe and his gang of revisionist morons who don't have even the guts to name the things as they are.

The "war dead" he is shamelessly referring to are all the people who blindly served to fight side by side with the Nazism against the modern civilization and the freedom of people. Yes Abe, your country was the ally of Nazism, one of the biggest or maybe the biggest tragedy in human history. And yes Abe, Japanese should be all shameful and not pride about this dark side of Japan history.

And let me smile at you when you speak that "it’s a matter of course to secure the freedom to express one’s respect and worship to precious souls ". It's curious that suddenly your defend people freedom to express their view to support criminals while your country has done everything to limit the freedom of your own people when it came to express their view which went against the government and japanese big cooperations and lobbies interests.

Abe you are an HYPOCRITE....

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In 1959, 1068 class B and C war criminals were enshrined. In 1969, Government and shrine officials met and agreed that the 14 Class A criminals were eligible. In 1978, the kami of the 14 Class A criminals were enshrined despite the objection of the emperor. The emperor never visited the shrine again. Japan never recognized the IMTFE classification of the status of the conflicted as war criminals. The 11 judges of IMTFE were from Australia, Canada, China, France, India, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, UK, US and USSR. There were protest to remove the 14 but unlike every other shine in Japan, shine officials said it was impossible. So and shinto shrine went against the emperor, judged itself different than every other shrine in the country and needed initial government approval. Seems that it may not be a shinto shrine but a shrine to Japanese fascism.

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For those who object to the term fascism, my contention is that Japan was a fascist state when the oligarchy ruled at the start of Meiji and then became more democratic until Taisho. During Showa, the government and society became increasingly fascist until in 1940 it became a full fascist state with full totalitarian control. A way to see fascism is extreme nationalism and individual sacrifice for the state.

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Whether you like it or not, Japanese government is not making Yasukuni shrine to do anything. They didn't force shrine to put names of war criminals, they are not forcing shrine to keep it. Yasukuni has freedom in decision making and it is all up to them. and it is all up to the person to visit or not to visit. Japan has been defending people's freedom of religion and freedom to express since defeat of WW2, for over 80 years. Yasukuni is not the special case. People have freedom of religion in any religion, as long as they don't commit crimes.

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Looks like Japan is once again turning to the far right... when leaders visit a shrine that has the names of men who have raped, mutilated and murdered women and children and bows to them!!!! really digusting. They need to be more like Germany, own up to what they did then everyone would be able to move on easier. America needs to be very careful about supporting a far right regime...even if it's to keep China in check.

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revopeaceApr. 26, 2013 - 10:08PM JST Looks like Japan is once again turning to the far right...

Not really. Last time they did not have a democracy or universal voting, they had an Army Minister and a Navy Minister so the military could control the cabinet including appointing their own PM, censorship and media control was strictly enforced including the use of the Kempetai, "enemies-of-the-state" were persecuted AND prosecuted, and the military was on a military and territorial expansion agenda bringing it into conflict with the whole world. Sort of like China today.

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"Japan has been defending people's freedom of religion and freedom to express since defeat of WW2, for over 80 years. "

I mean 60 years... wrong calculation...

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Don't blame China and Korea against Japan. Forget past? Text or not, I am very sure older generation people told about horror living they had during WW II. I am a Japanese and I don't tell anything about air raids or anything but I recall how Korean children were treated in Japan. Often I had to yell my classmates tried to stop me to exchange my pail of rive with their kimuchi/ I had two pails of lunches - one white rice, 1 shrimp, etc. We had too much rice in tawara because we owned farms in country sides. My family sold some but others could not sell because of government regulations, My parents used to give away to parents of my Korean friends. My parents thought I did not catch TB because I ate more vegetables. Discriminations were severe in Japan, then. My California born children love kimuchi and they bring me to buffets in Las Vegas but I don't eat kimuchi anymore. Anything remind me of that Japan, I avoid,

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The military did take complete control until Oct. 18 1940 and before that, Japan was still a constitutional monarchy. But fascist states don't just happen, Germany and Italy were democratic states and voted in Hitler and Mussolini. As for the present, Shinzo Abe is a very successful politician from a political family from both sides. he is the grandson of Nobusuke kishi who was the war time Minister of Commerce and Industry appointed by PM Hideki Tojo. Kishi was held as a Class A war criminal but never triad and release. He was ban from the government until the purge of the Imperial government was over. He later became prime minister (LDP). He both received the Military Medal of Honor (1934) and the United Nations Peace Medal (1979). Proving that life is always stranger than fiction.

As for China, I hope that they are smarter than to go to war with Japan. It seems that China is following the Japanese model and has over taken her as a economic power. The problem is that if China flames nationalistic feels too much, she may become fascist before she become fully democratic. Is Russia now communist, democratic or being fascist. The right-wing is strong in all these countries.

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Nobusuke Kishi was the architect of the present US-Japan military alliance.

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Nobusuke Kishi was in Sugamo Prison as a WW II criminal. Then, Japan had many political parties including communist Party and Socialist Party. USA ordered Gen.MacArthur to work against rise of Communist Party. General did not imprison Emperor after World Scientists explained Emperor Hirohito's works of Botany research. He met Hirohito and found Hirohito was not political and he did not imprisoned despite of Truman demand. Then Russia scare came. So, he made Kishi to work against Red and it worked well. LDP is strong now. Kishi had his younger brother Yeisaku Sato to work for peace. It was so long ago but each one received Nobel Peace Prize and UN Peace Prize I forgot whchi one received which prize. One pf Kishi's daughter is the mother of current PM Abe.. The tradition of politics began from Meiji Ishin when that area won against Shogunate's attack. Pro-democracy did not start after WWII in that area.

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General MaxArthur was GHQ head. He had big problems from Truman to occupation force soldiers. Check crime counts of soldiers in Japan after WW II was over. WikiPedia often have guess comments about Japam but these numbers are real. Truman wanted to hang Emperor Hirohito but it would create chaotics, General analyzed. Japan paid US bases construction and maintenance. It still pays. I don't know how many billion dollars this year. Japanese Government hasno say on Yasukuni. Also, Yasukuni custom is to keep enshrined people's soul unless all Yasukuni officials who enshrined agreed to take out. It is hard because some of them were dead now. Impossible. That is why it still has dog names, etc.

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Kishi was hated by Japanese Right Wing people. So, when he came back from USA. Roghters made huge demonstration at the Air Port. Ike was supposed to visit Japan. So, Japan recruited yakuza organizations all over Japan to hafe Welcome Ike Party. That worked. But Ike did not come. Only stronger than righties were yakuza then. I don't know now but here in USA, Right means republicans and lDemocrats were called liberals or lefties.

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Yasukuni Hobden - /shrine for soldiers who died in Boshin War, Just soldiers who died for winning side.' Yasukubi Chinreisha - for soldiers who fought for Shgunates. ' Honden include to WW II.Chinden includes foreign soldiers like British, Chinese Korean, USA. etc

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Yasukuni Honden - I meant. Two A Class people died before trial. Yousuke Matsuoka had TB and died. 7 were executed. Including civilians in service, and Government officials. Yasukuni is a shrine to house the actual souls of dead as kami or spirits/souls. Furthermore it is believed that all negative or evil acts comitted as absolved when enshrinement occurs. Religeous autonomy. My opinion is that Japanese politicians should study Shinto custom and delay going there during winter when shrine is not too busy. Just my silly opinion.

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I was in a university in Orange County, Calif, but I received letters from Japan that stated right wing terrolist tried to kill Kishi and also they assassinated Socialist leader Asanuma, All of them stated don't come back to Japan and stick to study a man's courses. Yasukuni Shrine was not symbols of right wing then. It is not 1960 now so I think politicians should wait to visit Yasukuni in winter and concentrate on more serious problems of Japan. I was not political but a female could not take 'a man's courses' in Japan then, I don't think Abe is friendly with right wing people.

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OssanAmerica

Yeah, you're right. But there are big differences between Japan during that period and China today. Lets remember that the current territorial dispute between Japan and China was caused by Japan nationalizing the islands.

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@revopeace

"Lets remember that the current territorial dispute between Japan and China was caused by Japan nationalizing the islands."

No. It was caused by Chinese ship collision incident in 2010, remember? Japan nationalized the islands after that.

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Positive point is : there are still critics from these countries to ensure the PM's acts & comments staying in check. Should Japan keeps going too far, until then, no one would care by then. Hence, PM Abe should think twice before further aggravating the situation.

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revopeaceApr. 29, 2013 - 08:42PM JST OssanAmerica Yeah, you're right. But there are big differences between Japan during that period and China today. Lets remember >that the current territorial dispute between Japan and China was caused by Japan nationalizing the islands.

Yes there are also big differences. Imperial Japan was never a communist state, and the miliraty considered their fascist ways to be fighting communism. Same as in Nazi Germany. Whereas China (PRC) started as a Communist State, and technically still is, although they have adopted commercialism and replaced "communism," with "nationalism" for national cohesion, which in turn has lead to fascist-like characteristics. And let's remember that the J-government purchased the 3 islands to keep Ishihara from building on them in order to not upset China. And that The J-govt purchased the 3 islands from the owners who were J-nationals. And, that the J-govt has and still owns one of the islands for decades letting the US military use it as a live bombing training site. Calling the purchase of the 3 islands "nationalized" is a propaganda ploy by the Chinese govt to make their population feel like something of theirs was taken. China used the purchase as an excuse to openly try to take the islands, something they had been doing covertly fopr years, culminating in the 2010 PLANNED collision with JCG vessels. The cause of the Senkaku dispute, as well as disputes with the Philippines, Vietnam. Malaysia, Brunei are all China's deliberate strategy to break he First Island Chain.

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The families of dead soldiers received a wooden box that was remains of their dead soldiers. In there, a small stone or dirt. Japan lost the war so, they just did not protest or demanded to have real remains. Thus, these families submitted just names, etc to Shrines and temples. Yasukuni, too.

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