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Abe offers ritual gift to Yasukuni shrine

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Yasukuni shrine honors Japan’s war dead, including some senior military and political figures convicted of serious crimes in the wake of the country’s World War II defeat.

AFP,

Serious crimes......................... proper term is War Crimes, what are you scared of being hauled in by the ldp!

16 ( +19 / -3 )

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

Anybody who says that is either a liar or a simpleton. No other explanation possible.

10 ( +18 / -8 )

These costume-play idiots standing in the picture have nothing to do with the shrine.

-14 ( +7 / -21 )

I think no one would expect Abe to visit Yasukuni just before his upcoming trip to the US and his speech at the Congress. That would be too provocative and cause him damage in the States. His cabinet ministers will take care of that on Wednesday.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

These costume-play idiots standing in the picture have nothing to do with the shrine.

They think they have something to do with the shrine.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

While offering a gift to the shrine isn't the same as visiting, is it really that different? It expresses the fact that he supports the shrine - a shrine dedicated to whitewashing the war, and painting Japan as the victim in WWII.

It just goes to show that the only thing he's learned is that he faces less backlash if he sends a gift, than if he goes in person. Still the same person though.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a symbolic donation to the controversial Yasukuni war shrine Tuesday, but stopped short of visiting in person—a move that would have infuriated neighboring countries.

Again, a complete lack of moral leadership -- just more straddling the fence so as to keep in good graces with his nationalist base. Why could he not simply ignore it competely? Does not bode well for his much anticpated statemnent coming in August. Will likely follow down this road -- not clearly accepting Japan's past, but not repudiating it either. This shell game is so tiring and childish -- after 70 years.

6 ( +14 / -8 )

It's a beautiful shrine worth visiting. There are over two million war dead being remembered, including non-Japanese. The handful of war criminals is just a drop on a hot stone so the uproar from hypocrites like China and SK are laughable. There are occasionally some confused idiots near the shrine who dress strangely but you can ignore them.

-14 ( +6 / -20 )

Abe, have some decency! In the long run, you are just isolating Japan, hurting its own interest.

See if you can figure this out. How would Japanese feel if people celebrate nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

4 ( +12 / -8 )

It's a beautiful shrine worth visiting. There are over two million war dead being remembered, including non-Japanese. The handful of war criminals is just a drop on a hot stone so the uproar from hypocrites like China and SK are laughable.

It's very beautiful. But did you not visit the museum that is very clearly trying to whitewash Japan's actions in the war?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

The handful of war criminals is just a drop on a hot stone so the uproar from hypocrites like China and SK are laughable.

Garbage. Morals are absolute, not by degree -- "only a handful". The fact that they are enshrined there makes the "honor" the others that are enshrined there are entitled to less meanignful. Which is why I never went there in ten years of living in Tokyo.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

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

Please do not compare the disgusting Yasukuni to Arlington.

Sorry, Japan: Yasukuni Is Not Arlington

Most important, one of the criteria for those buried at Arlington is an honorable discharge. Those court-martialed, tried for war crimes, or convicted of a felony cannot be interred. This is not the case for Yasukuni. In addition to the fourteen convicted war criminals who were found responsible for carrying forward the Pacific War, there are thousands who violated both Japanese and international laws. Notable is Washio Awochi (sometimes spelled Awachi) a civilian manager of a comfort station in Batavia (Jarkarta) who was convicted by a 1946 Dutch wars crimes tribunal (Case No. 76) of forcing Dutch women to be Comfort Women (sex slaves). He died in a Batavia jail.

http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/sorry-japan-yasukuni-not-arlington-9718

Yasukuni =/= Arlington

It's a disgrace to compare Yasukuni to Arlington.

9 ( +15 / -6 )

@Strangerland But people only complain about the shrine, never about the museum - which admittedly is questionable.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

I dont blame those people who who dressed like imperial era militas or you like calling them idiotic . The contemporary Japan is too painful for many people and some of them choose go back to Meiji ,Chowa or just their own family heritages of military service! That was a relief of stress and paranoids although their acts were disgusted to many people inside the or outside japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But did you not visit the museum that is very clearly trying to whitewash Japan's actions in the war?

Precisely. Therein lies the rub

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It's a beautiful shrine worth visiting. There are over two million war dead being remembered, including non-Japanese.

CGB,

Yes but beauty is only skin deep, ESPECIALLY wrt yasukuni, underneath the cherry blossoms is a despicable ugly place!

And MANY of the non-Japanese souls imprisoned in yasukuni want OUT, but the idiots who run the place wont let them be free of their prisons, how nice is that!

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Abe offers ritual gift to Yasukuni shrine

One may interpret it as A virtual Visit to Yasukuni (!)

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Abe, the answer to my question is that Japanese would feel sad. Showing respect to Yasukuni Shrine is a lot worse than celebrating nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The nuking was done to minimize innocent victims from Japanese war criminals. However, celebrating the nuking is still a bad thing to do. Why? Because even war criminals are people too, and there were many innocent Japanese victims.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

The handful of war criminals is just a drop on a hot stone so the uproar from hypocrites like China and SK are laughable. >Garbage. Morals are absolute, not by degree -- "only a handful".

Just as life is only black and white, no?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

And MANY of the non-Japanese souls imprisoned in yasukuni want OUT, but the idiots who run the place wont let them be free of their prisons, how nice is that!

Controversies regarding Yasukuni aside, even you must realize that this is grasping at straws, wouldn't you think?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Controversies regarding Yasukuni aside, even you must realize that this is grasping at straws, wouldn't you think?

Actually, it's true. Relatives of Koreans interned at Yasukuni petitioned to have their remains released, Yasukuni wouldn't allow it. It went to court, and the relatives lost.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Strangerland, no, it isn't true -the relatives attach meaning to the soul, whether the soul itself wants out - how the hell would anyone know?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Strangerland, no, it isn't true

So you are saying that the relatives did not petition Yasukuni, and that there was not a lawsuit?

As for whether the soul wants out or not, it cuts both ways - if the relatives cannot know whether or not the soul wants out, neither can Yasukuni know whether or not it wants to stay.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Then he should have phrased it differently, or do you simply enjoy being contrary? Call it for what it is, the relatives wanted their ancestors out - is it really that hard?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Japanese emperor themselves boycott the shrine. Abe apparently can't do the same.

The Emperor has continued his father’s boycott of Yasukuni Shrine that began when 14 Class-A war criminals were secretly enshrined there in 1978. Emperor Hirohito, who is posthumously called Emperor Showa, confided to an aide that he refrained from visiting the shrine thereafter due to their presence.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2015/01/10/commentary/japan-commentary/peoples-emperor-speaks-truth-power/#.VTXYadKqqko

By the way, there have been request by some Japanese people that ask the shrine official to remove the 14 war criminal from the shrine.

TOKYO — An influential group representing families of Japanese soldiers killed in World War II has asked the Yasukuni Shrine to separate the 14 war criminals honored there from the other war dead, throwing its weight behind a longstanding proposal to make the site less of a political flash point.The Fukuoka Prefecture chapter of the War-Bereaved Families Association, or Izokukai, in southern Japan passed a resolution on Monday asking shrine officials to separate the Class A war criminals, who include Gen. Hideki Tojo, the wartime leader, from the other war dead honored at the shrine. While the idea of removing the war criminals has been floated for years, this is the first time that a chapter of the Izokukai, one of the most powerful conservative interest groups in Japan, has supported such a move.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/29/world/asia/japan-yasukuni-shrine-izokukai.html?_r=0

2 ( +5 / -3 )

StrangerlandApr. 21, 2015 - 01:02PM JST

Actually, it's true. Relatives of Koreans interned at Yasukuni petitioned to have their remains released,

There is no remains of anyone in Yasukuni. The shrine only keeps the names of fallen soldiers.

StrangerlandApr. 21, 2015 - 01:12PM JST

So you are saying that the relatives did not petition Yasukuni, and that there was not a lawsuit?

Yes, there was a lawsuit, and the court ruled that Yasukuni has nothing to return to the relatives because the only thing it has is the list of names . Strangerland, please stick to the facts..

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Losing a war is traumatic. Winners are justice and losers injustice.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Anybody who says that is either a liar or a simpleton. No other explanation possible.

You didn't actually provide an argument for why the comparison is invalid. All you offered was ad hominem.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

PM Abe needs to stop visiting Yasukuni shrine and repeats apologies for past aggression and atrocities, to repair and improve ties with China and S Korea. This will give Japan more leverage when dealing with the USA.

It gives Japan more leverage when negotiating Japans's payment of hundreds of billions of yen for the US bases in Japan, technology transfers when buying US weapons, etc.. Japan can not get a permanent membership in the UN Security Council with China's veto. It also has to buy UN members' votes for the permanent membership with expensive foreign aid. This is money that can be better spent to help poor Japanese citizens.

It failed to get 2 members, out of the 7 members of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project, China and S Korea to back building the ITER in Japan instead of France.

Japan has too much to lose internationally and financially from bad relations with China and S Korea.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

You didn't actually provide an argument for why the comparison is invalid. All you offered was ad hominem.

OK, if you insist. It is not equivalent to Arlington or other war ceremonies due to the presence of the enshrined names of the convicted war criminals, alongside the legitimate war dead. If not for those names, I would agree with the comparison. But having them there makes the world of difference.

So my point was, to draw the comparison is to either be ignorant of the facts, or pretend to be ignorant of them. I don't know which is less appealing.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@theeastisred

"war criminals" are punished and dead. There is no international law to ban honoring war deads who fought for the country.

Japan and US concluded a peace treaty, so you cannot make Japan behave in your favor as if the war were still continuing.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

"war criminals" are punished and dead. There is no international law to ban honoring war deads who fought for the country.

True but irrelevant

Japan and US concluded a peace treaty, so you cannot make Japan behave in your favor as if the war were still continuing.

Not doing that, am I.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Appropriate consideration is necessary of international relations and the feelings of the citizens of neighboring nations. Is there a way to safeguard the nation against Prime Ministers who succumb to irrational distortions of reality?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Not doing that, am I.

Yes you are. You are criticizing the shrine from American standpoint. But Japan and USA were enemy so it's OK that you don't like the shrine, but becase of peace treaty and war ended, you cannot make Japan behave from the American point of view. Abe's visit is supported by Japanese public. Your and US recent constant criticizm only make the relation of two countries worse when the two have more important issues to deal with.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

@tinawatanabe

Japan is damaged every time this kind of action is taken by prime ministers and others. Japan is voluntarily and unnecessarily handing a stick to China and South Korea with which to beat Japan. It makes no difference at all to the US or other countries. Abe is acting very much against Japan's interests with this foolish and short-sighted behavior.

Just remove those 14 names, and nobody will be able to legitimately complain about anything. Then you will have your Arlington. Ordinary Japanese soldiers, sailors and airmen were among the biggest victims of the war and deserve to be recognized. But who made them into victims? Those 14 war criminals (without inverted commas), that's who.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

theeastisredApr. 21, 2015 - 02:34PM JST

It is not equivalent to Arlington or other war ceremonies due to the presence of the enshrined names of the convicted war criminals, alongside the legitimate war dead. If not for those names, I would agree with the comparison. But having them there makes the world of difference.

What is your religion?

It seems you think the body of a convicted criminal cannot be accepted in any cemetery or the cemetery must be shut down.

Does your religion teach you not to forgive any criminal even after death?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

It seems you think the body of a convicted criminal cannot be accepted in any cemetery or the cemetery must be shut down. Does your religion teach you not to forgive any criminal even after death?

Just move the names somewhere else so that politicians and ordinary people paying their respects to the war dead will not simultaneously be paying respects to the war criminals. If politicians then choose to also visit the war criminals' new spiritual home they would really be asking for trouble. Relatives of the war criminals would be free to visit and not attract any criticism or attention. And Yasukini, free of the taint of war criminals, will be able to serve its original function of memorializing war dead.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The fact that Emperor, who has been trying very hard to visit so many places that are built in memory of the victims of war or disasters even including some in foreign lands, has never once visited the shrine tells us a lot about it. And the fact that the previous emperor had stopped visiting the shrine after he learned that it had decided to enshrine the war criminals only shows how dangerous Abe has been proving himself to be and how much this country needs to make him quit as soon as possible.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@theeastisred

Japan is damaged every time this kind of action is taken by prime ministers and others.

It's OK. Japan's shrine culture is more than 2,000 years, and Yasukuni shrine is about 250 years.

And Yasukini, free of the taint of war criminals, will be able to serve its original function of memorializing war dead.

There is no war memorial free of taint. War is war. You have to study your history in more detail.

Just remove those 14 names, and nobody will be able to legitimately complain about anything.

Koreans said removing the names woundn't change. And SK president Park said two years ago, SK would not forgive Japan for one thousand years. So, It would be the same. Besides, it is impossible to divide the spirits.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Japan's shrine culture is more than 2,000 years, and Yasukuni shrine is about 250 years.

What's that got to do with anything?

There is no war memorial free of taint. War is war. You have to study your history in more detail.

So you really don't understand the difference between the war criminals and the war dead?

Koreans said removing the names woundn't change. And SK president Park said two years ago, SK would not forgive Japan for one thousand years. So, It would be the same. Besides, it is impossible to divide the spirits.

If that is truly Korea's position, they would clearly be in the wrong to persist once Japan had removed the names of the war criminals. Japan would have regained the moral high ground, which currently it has handed to Korea. As for dividing spirits, that notion was made up by people in the first place and it can easily be unmade.

Or, you can continue with the current situation in which Japan can never win and never be free of the problem.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

These costume-play idiots standing in the picture have nothing to do with the shrine

So, you disparage the very people you claim to support? Interesting

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What's that got to do with anything?

The long culture and tradition are more important than the damage you are saying.

Japan can never win and never be free of the problem.

No need to win or be free of the problem.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Here we go again.

Serious crimes......................... proper term is War Crimes, what are you scared of being hauled in by the ldp!

Why is a "war crime" necessarily worse than a "serious crime"?

@Hansaram

Most important, one of the criteria for those buried at Arlington is an honorable discharge. Those court-martialed, tried for war crimes, or convicted of a felony cannot be interred.

Quite frankly, I don't think any guys that may have been tried or convicted for "domestic crimes" are the guys being disputed here, so let's narrow the discussion to War Criminals.

The most salient point is America has never really been forced into a position where it has its war criminals named and tried by foreigners. If "preparing for war" is a crime, then plenty of Americans should be in prison, but they aren't even tried and would qualify for Arlington. Simply because America has not lost a war so badly its leaders are dragged out and tried.

They have also been fortunate enough to be in the position to write the laws. You know, the ones that see killing 100 guys (civvies or not) by a sword is UTTER EVIL but killing the same amount or more by a plane's bombs and cannon is KEWL!

For all that, I won't say America never tried one of its own, but it is always completely on its own terms, which is a significant difference in the other direction.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

The long culture and tradition are more important than the damage you are saying.

The origins of this problem only go back to, from memory, 1978. When the names of the war criminals were enshrined.

No need to win or be free of the problem.

So you are happy for Japan to be the object of ridicule and hatred for ever more, over this problem which could easily be fixed?

Are you god or something? Who are you to decide what is right or wrong?

I am a person with an opinion. I think opinions the world over would turn against Korea/China and in favor of Japan if Japan would only take this tiny and necessary step to resolve the problem.

You are the spirit of Mao Ze Dong, who killed more than anyone else in the history of mankind. A Chinese has the habit of thinking what he thinks has unversal value to which all other people must surrender.

You have a vivid imagination. I am not Chinese.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@theeastisredAPR. 21, 2015 - 06:58PM JST

So you are happy for Japan to be the object of ridicule and hatred for ever more, over this problem which could easily be fixed?

Whether this is "easily" fixed or not depends very much on your perspective.

Imagine this scenario. The war criminals you speak of are alive rather than dead. The subject of debate is whether they are allowed to reside in a particular residental block that a certain organization provides for the benefit of war veterans. When their sentence is over, these war criminals are no longer criminals, and thus should be permitted, according to the Japanese Constitution and western values, full and equal rights, which of course means the right to reside in this residental block.

Certain foreigners insist Japan should evict these guys from their residences. Their reason? It somehow offends their sensibilities!

Oh sure, it probably isn't too hard to evict them somewhere else. However, is it right to evict them? Is it not discriminatory to do so, since they have already served their sentence, which was, BTW, determined in a rather unilateral way by a "Victors' Court"?

Is it not evil of China, Korea and the United States to keep hounding people who have already served a sentence they have determined?

Is Japan's willingness to stand up for them more worthy of praise than ridicule?

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@theeastisred "just remove those 14 names"

What for ? Just because some foreigners strictly dislike or unable to understand Japanese traditions ? Forget it.

-11 ( +1 / -12 )

The most salient point is America has never really been forced into a position where it has its war criminals named and tried by foreigners. If "preparing for war" is a crime, then plenty of Americans should be in prison, but they aren't even tried and would qualify for Arlington. Simply because America has not lost a war so badly its leaders are dragged out and tried.

Show me proof or evidence for you claim here. Show me proof that there are America soldiers in Arlington that can be considered as war criminals if tried by foreigners. I would like to hear what they did. Doesn't matter whether America lost the war or not. The fact for the matter is, Japan and Germany bring more damage than any other countries. Even before America defeat Japan, Japan has been considered as villain who bring a lot of suffering.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Hansaram OK, you tell me whether George Bush (he did serve in the US military IIRC) the Junior would qualify for Arlington. He started TWO wars against two countries arguably more helpless than China was. Presidents leading back from him have kept the most powerful military machine in the world by a significant margin. America keeps getting into scrapes large and small. You tell me how a "preparing for war" charge would not stick under the right court.

As for other war criminals, unless there are simply no strategic bomber pilots or submarine men in Arlington, it seems they are very lucky to not have lost wars the way Japan did. Then there were the pilots in the Battle of Bismarck Sea who did strafe Japanese in the water - would they have qualified for Arlington?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

@Kazuaki Shimazaki

Why don't you tell me what kind of crime they committed first. Tell me more about the location where America strategic bomber pilot or submarine committed war crime or the number of innocent civilian they cost. Provide me something as detail as Rape of Nanking, Unit 731, Manila massacre.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hansaram, So that's the reasons for you to demand Japan do not visit the shrine? What legal ground? If we have different opinions shouldn't the law decide?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

If you simply demand something without any legal ground, its bullying and ignorance.

You call it bullying, others call it pressure. And it's only ignorance if it's ignorant. In this case, the right-wingers are the ignorant ones.

You'll face the consequences of the demands.

Those who don't face up to their past face the consequences of not doing so.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

America should've dismantled Yasukuni Shine during the immediate occupation following Japan's ww2 defeat. America should've exposed Yasukuni's infamous "false" exaltation among ordinary Japanese. America allowed Japan to keep much of its culture, temples, shrines, beliefs etc.

Now look. The souls of kamikaze pilots, drunken soldiers' bonzai charges, rapists and plunderers of China/Korea are still enshrined while keeping every PM a hostage to a lost principle.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Kazuaki and Tina,

People who love Japan are trying to find a way to resolve this problem. Other people, who must hate Japan, are happy to see the problem stay unresolved. The second group should not be disappointed when Japan leaves them behind.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Serious crimes......................... proper term is War Crimes, what are you scared of being hauled in by the ldp! Why is a "war crime" necessarily worse than a "serious crime"?

KazuakiS,

Seriously YOU need this explained to you................OK I will try:

A person goes into a combini & sticks a gun in the clerks face & demands money or else, THAT is a serious crime.

A country military/politicians who commit mass murder, rape etc in the MILLIONS...............ready for it..............here comes the answer.................a War Criminals.......

See its not so hard to figure out!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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