politics

Dozens of lawmakers, 2 ministers visit Yasukuni Shrine; Abe sends ritual offering

18 Comments
By Kento Sahara and Nobuhiro Kubo

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18 Comments
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The most we can expect from Abe, I suppose. And at least Inada was packed off out of the way. I wonder whose idea that was? Welcome, though; credit where it's due.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Visits to Yasukuni Shrine by top Japanese politicians outrage China and South Korea because it honors 14 Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal, along with war dead.

This sentence from the article is the partial truth but far from being the whole truth — the tip of the iceberg.

Insinuating that the shrine causes outrage exclusively because it honors 14 war criminals is a bit of a red herring. Yasukuni causes outrage even more so because of its overall stance on the war. The enshrinement of the war criminals is merely one way in which that stance is manifested.

The Yasukuni Shrine organization carries a lot of political weight in Japan. It and its Yushukan "museum" blatantly whitewash and glorify Japan's role in the war, while portraying Japan as a victim and denying atrocities committed by the IJA. The museum's website has "made statements criticizing the United States for 'forcing' Japan to attack the United States in order to justify war with Japan, as well as claiming that Japan went to war with the intention of creating a Co-Prosperity Sphere for all Asians." Also, the organization enshrines South Koreans, Taiwanese and others who served in the war, against the wishes of family members of those fallen soldiers.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Heres a good read about the shrine and the reasons behind its political ideology.

http://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/a02404/

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Insinuating that the shrine causes outrage exclusively because it honors 14 war criminals is a bit of a red herring.

Surely that is the main reason, though. The museum doesn't help but if the 14 Class A war criminals' names were not there, it could be reasonably argued that Yasukuni was no more than a war memorial, and paying respects to ward dead would be justified.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Insinuating that the shrine causes outrage exclusively because it honors 14 war criminals is a bit of a red herring.

There are over 1000 war criminals interned at Yasukuni, not 14.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Anyone who was tried, convicted and executed after the end of the war should not have his name there. Simple criterion which if observed would resolve the issue entirely.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

".... but declined to comment, saying it was a private matter for each individual."

No, this is not a private matter. Those people represent the Japanese government!

5 ( +10 / -5 )

No worry, China and Korea would still hate Japan just as much if there was no such thing as the Yasukuni Shrine.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

".... but declined to comment, saying it was a private matter for each individual."

Not when you go in your official capacity, it's not.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

disgusting and shameful. Sure, not as bad as visiting the shrine itself, but sending and offering is nearly as bad. Imagine if German politicians has sent an offering to a shrine of ex nazis?

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Very regrettable, a PM sending presents to a shine with A class war criminals....

4 ( +6 / -2 )

disgusting and shameful. Sure, not as bad as visiting the shrine itself, but sending and offering is nearly as bad. Imagine if German politicians has sent an offering to a shrine of ex nazis?

Not a good comparison. At its peak the NAZI party had roughly 8 million members or about 10% of the entire German population. If you add in the separate organization for women, you get another 2 million members. Although military personnel were initially required to be non-political and thus could not be party members, this limitation was later abolished.

In practical terms, it would be nearly impossible to guarantee that any given war memorial in Germany did not "honor" at least some individuals who had been NAZI party members.

There are over 1000 war criminals interned at Yasukuni, not 14.

That is indeed the case. And, they are not necessarily all Japanese. The Japanese military had roughly a quarter of a million Koreans and they were well represented in the B and C categories of "war criminal."

Also, the organization enshrines South Koreans, Taiwanese and others who served in the war, against the wishes of family members of those fallen soldiers.

Some have objected, mostly Christians. The term "South Korean" is meaningless in this context. It did not exist until Korea was divided in 1948. When the Japanese controlled Korea there was no north-south division.

No worry, China and Korea would still hate Japan just as much if there was no such thing as the Yasukuni Shrine.

It's less a matter of hatred but of political utility. Only two countries make a big deal of the Yasukuni visits although quite a number of others suffered under Japanese control, some far more so than Korea, the Philippines for example. But only two regularly blow off on this issue and its mostly China and in the case of China it's only post-Mao.

In other words, the protests cannot be divorced from Chinese and Korean domestic politics. If the issue was solely the Class-A "war criminals" at Yasukuni, than a number of other countries should be hot on this issue including but not limited to the US, Britain, Holland, Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Burma, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, etc.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

If the Emperors of the past and present who represent the heart of Japan won't go because it glorifies the IJA then no Japanese minister of good conscience in the service of the nation needs to go either.

It's just a list. Bulldoze it along with the "museum" and put up a South Korean friendship centre and gift shop. Tell the IJA reenactment clowns the party is over

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Those Japanese officials who visits or gives offerings to Yasukuni shrine are showing utmost disrespect to His Royal Highness ,the Japanese Emperor himself!

These bunch should go to Germany and request their host to let them visit and offer flowers to the graves or shrines of Hitler or Goebbels and learn something from Berlin's response.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If the Emperors of the past and present who represent the heart of Japan won't go because it glorifies the IJA then no Japanese minister of good conscience in the service of the nation needs to go either.

It's not just the dead of the Imperial Japanese Army who are memorialized at Yasukuni.

It's just a list. Bulldoze it along with the "museum" and put up a South Korean friendship centre and gift shop. Tell the IJA reenactment clowns the party is over.

How about bulldozing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and turning it into a US-Vietnam Friendship Centre?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

How about bulldozing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and turning it into a US-Vietnam Friendship Centre?

Why? The US and Vietnam are fast becoming good friends and partners against China. It doesn't seem to have the same ultra-nationalist theme park feel this place does. False equivalency, newest summer drink to beat the heat. Always seems so witty on first blush, then leaves a sour bile taste.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Only two countries make a big deal of the Yasukuni visits although quite a number of others suffered under Japanese control, some far more so than Korea, the Philippines for example.

And why just compare them with the number of casualties with Korea only and not with China? Your are after all talking about "only two countries". Is it inconvenient to know that China had the biggest casualty? Even more than some countries combined?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hiro S NobumasaAug. 15, 2016 - 11:13PM JST These bunch should go to Germany and request their host to let them visit and offer flowers to the graves or shrines of >Hitler or Goebbels and learn something from Berlin's response.

"BITBURG, West Germany, May 5 — President Reagan presided over a wreath-laying today at the base of a brick cemetery tower looming over the graves of nearly 2,000 German soldiers, including 49 SS troops. Accompanied by Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Mr. Reagan walked slowly through the narrow, hilltop cemetery, ablaze with tulips and marigolds."

http://www.nytimes.com/1985/05/06/international/europe/06REAG.html?pagewanted=all

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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