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Abe visits Meiji Shrine in apparent rightist appeal

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I knew his true color.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Don't we all ?

0 ( +7 / -7 )

So what? Maybe he just went there to pray. Millions of people go there every year, but not necessarily for political reasons.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

And this is one of the many valid reason why other nations keep asking Japan to truly and sincerely apologize for the atrocities it have committed, even as people on these forums have said Japan have apologized before and have apologized enough.

Actions speaks louder than words: and it is these actions that keep the bad wounds in Asia from being healed.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

"The shrine commemorates Emperor Meiji, a symbol of Japan’s militarization in the late 19th and early 20th centuries."

But Yasukuni is the shrine that irritates China and South Korea, so I don't see how they can react in a big way to this.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

So what? Our leaders should avoid visiting any shrine or temple in case it offends our dear neighbours?

3 ( +10 / -7 )

So he says he wants to fix relationships with China and Korea and yet... he goes to right-wing shrines, wants to change apologies, makes comments to China about the riots.... Abe, you are walking a very, very thin line and guess what? You will fall. It'll be bigger and more disastrous than you tummy issues and you'll be taking all of Japan with you.

The voters put him in power and it sucks that we're going to get screwed because of their lack of common sense and understanding.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

one more visit to yasukuni and you can pretty garauntee china will actually step foot on the senkakus, or at least got shot down for trying. will be interesting to see how far abe will go to egg the chinese on.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

i do not agree with these visits to honor dead war criminals but at least abe has enough balls to say what the dpj never would say which is china did nothing to protect japanese interests and even encouraged destroying japanese business

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Balls? Perhaps the DPJ has no interest in honoring war criminals because they know better?

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Our leaders should avoid visiting any shrine or temple

Yes, since there's supposed to be separation of religion and state. Never mind what the neighbours say, a lot of locals are not happy about pseudo-pious pollies.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

It is his religious belief, first they restrict Shinto and than Christians. Just because he is PM does not mean he does not have a private life.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

I have never seen Meiji as overly right winging, abe pls dont make it another place for nut job right wingers to hang out

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I went there the other day. Does that make me a Nationalist as well?

I get a bit sick of this rubbish, to be honest. I think that the Japanese leaders are mostly very moderate in their expression of any kind of nationalist expression. But their every move is under the microscope for the slightest hint of something else. The hawks watch over them with careful scrutiny.

There are many other wold leaders in supposed moderate places that are far, far worse imo.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Just because he is PM does not mean he does not have a private life.

Then perhaps he shouldn't be in contact with the media about when he does such things? He could also not discuss his beliefs and any future visits to the media if he's doing such things on a personal matter. Thing is, we all know he's not doing this due to his belief in religion, it is a political move.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

I never understood this issue. What if the Vietnamese, Germans or Japanese objected to the US president visiting Arlington National Cemetery? Would anyone say we should be more sensitive?

It's a local, national issue, not an international one. I think the Japanese PM can visit and pray anywhere he likes. Ultimately, it's up to his constituents to judge.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

YuriOtaniJan. 14, 2013 - 10:24AM JST

Just because he is PM does not mean he does not have a private life.

Wrong again. The first rule of politics is that as the Prime minister, you do not have a private life, only a public one. Your private opinions are kept to yourself and you are the mouth piece for the nation as a whole.

It doesn't matter how much Japan tries to determine the narrative, this is called international diplomacy and Japan should school its politicians in the basics of it because they suck big time at it and they are just putting Japan in an isolationist hole.

I wish you and others would try and understand this, As a minister of a government, there is no private visit to Yasakuni or any of the other fascist militaristic hotspots. If he wants to keep any visit as a private Abe family occasion, he should send along' Kermit The Frog' Akie, his wife.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

This is inevitable. It will, no doubt, have an effect on relations with neighbouring countries and not a good one. The Japanese people as a whole must share the blame for this as they voted the LDP back into power.

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

Since when is Meiji Shrine synonymous with militarization?

Seems like the press is really reaching for a right wing angle here.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Tom FurnariJan. 14, 2013 - 10:39AM JST

I never understood this issue. What if the Vietnamese, Germans or Japanese objected to the US president visiting Arlington National Cemetery? Would anyone say we should be more sensitive?

Then it's rather useless to discuss this topic with you then, until you do some very basic research.

Meiji shrine is a Shinto shrine and the Japanese constitution is strongly committed to the separation of Church and State and by having the Prime Minister identify with a particular religion in its relationship to political events, violates the constitution (2005 ruling Koizumi v Osaka high court).

Arlington is a secular memorial to those who have given their lives and energy fighting for the United States. It has no religious leanings and if it did, I am sure the US Supreme Court would rule that the US President's visits violate the US constitution.

Get it now?

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

iWorld

And this is one of the many valid reason why other nations keep asking Japan to truly and sincerely apologize

In this case, how Japan may keep its religious freedom?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

You'd think Abe could at least come up with a fresh right-wing ideology for the 21st century, instead of just rehashing the 1930s.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

You gotta love it -- the guy's admittedly not going to the shrine to truly offer prayers or because he believes in it, but because he wants to score points with the right-wing nutters.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

I'm surprised people can say, "so what's the big deal?" It's very well-known that this is a sensitive issue for China, and at a time when Japan is involved with them in a row over the Senkakus, Abe says he wants to improve relations and then deliberately does something that he knows very well will provoke them?

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

cleo

Yes, since there's supposed to be separation of religion and state.

The article 20 does not take any freedom for anyone's religious faith. Abe may be visiting anywhere. I personally disagree with his religious point of view because I am not Shintoist, but we can not take his religious point of view. Do you think when a president of America put his hand on the bible when he becomes the president, and he visits his church or temple or visit the war memorial park, these things have been done with basically the same constitution. Article 20 (for that matter all the articles) has been written by Americans.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Gokai

that is the problem. Nobody has ever said what "actions" would placate China, S. Korea, etc.

Other countries really can't demand what Japan must do or not do. They only can responds to Japan's actions. It is up to the Japanese to find their humanity and dignity in themselves to show they are truly and sincerely regretted the atrocities they have committed in the past. (A hint: visit shrines that links to pass aggressions and/or have war criminals in them is not one of the way)

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

gaijintraveller

In answer to the person who asks why the previous and current Chinese ambassador to Japan speak fluent Japanese

Because he also attended Soka University in Japan.

The Japanese people as a whole must share the blame for this.

Why all Japanese people must be blamed for his religious point of view? The neighboring countries you are talking about is only mainly China and Korea. What makes them have a right for interference Japan's religion? There is no logic in a real sense. I understand if Japaneses go there to show our approval to some criminals, but once they become MITAMA, it is not the same concept that German people visit Hitler's cemetery. It is entirely different meaning.This is religious difference in its concept exist, that is why the issue is difficult to solve.

Also when I hear from them who blame Japan because Yasukini has A class war criminals. I ask them if those are removed? Is it OK to visit? many people say yes, But B and C class criminals are still there. Many people express A class criminal is problem. However, so far none of them gave me the answer when I ask the difference between A, B and C. I am puzzled that without knowing what A class criminal mean, people express this. And I wish they try to understand the concept of Mitama. it is not possible to separate once they blended into the law of nature to return. I am a Buddhist, I believe an individual Karma but Shintoism is different. I am not supporting Shito for it sake but our religious freedom and independence. No country should try to control other country's religion.

I know quite a lot of people visit Meiji Shrine also Yasukuni, not everyone has a militaristic idea, actually very small numbers of people are like that, but simply pray for their deceased family who died not just WW2 and other wars and Korean, Taiwan and other people as well who died for their ease and happiness. Or simply world peace. I can not tell what is in everyone's mind who go Shrines. But once Korea and China exceed their interference for Japan's religious right, it will provoke Japan too much to maintain a good relationship. I am sure a lot of non Japaneses people who visited those shrines during new year, the atmosphere has nothing to do with Nationalism. Don't you think so? You do not have to agree with me but I am just curious how non Japanese people are watching us.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Oh the horror of it all, a Japanese citizen visiting a Japanese shrine in Japan!

How dare he do this! Why why why?!?

This is almost as bad as a PRC official visiting the Mausoleum of Mao!!

Oh say it isn't so!!!

LOL, silly people come up with the silliiest things to complain about.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Just because he is PM does not mean he does not have a private life.

If he went in a private capacity, fine. But he didn't - he made it a public event. That's a no-no.

(Did he make a habit of going when he wasn't PM? And of telling reporters about it? Nope.)

1 ( +3 / -2 )

DogJan. 14, 2013 - 11:01AM JST

Arlington is a secular memorial to those who have given their lives and energy fighting for the United States. It has no religious leanings and if it did, I am sure the US Supreme Court would rule that the US President's visits violate the US constitution.

Get it now?

Well said, Dog. I could not agree more.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Funny how the countries who have interests in expanding their territories are the only ones who insist Japan does what they say.

China and the Koreas, hardly "all of Asia". It's been noted that other Asian countries, including the common people, support Japan rearming due to their valid concerns regarding the aggression of China. As for Korea, Taiwan was a colony for far longer, yet the Taiwanese people don't complain about Japan anywhere near as much as Koreans. Even in the case of the Senkakus, Taiwan has taken a far more mature stance than China, or Takeshima in the case of Korea.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

If he went in a private capacity, fine. But he didn't - he made it a public event. That's a no-no.

Rubbish. You know as well as anyone here that all the visits by a PM to any shrine are new events that will be publicized. This is especially true of any shrine visit that may send the communists and their sympathizers into a tizzy.

The whole separation of religion/state is a bogus point as well. I'm sure you also know that many Japanese have no religion in any practical sense yet they visit a shrine around the New Year as a custom. I suspect you may have even visited a shrine this year ... are you Shinto?

Oh the horror of it all, a Japanese citizen visiting a Japanese shrine in Japan! How dare he do this! Why why why?!? This is almost as bad as a PRC official visiting the Mausoleum of Mao!! Oh say it isn't so!!! LOL, silly people come up with the silliest things to complain about.

Well said Joe.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The concept of seperation of Church and State is so that theocarcy does not influnce in making state affairs. It does not restrict the head of state to visit a church/temple and/or any other religious landmarks. If it did no one except an atheist can be head of state.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Arlington is not relevant to this discussion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Are the thousands of people who visit Meiji shrine right-wingers then? First it was Yasukuni, now it is Meiji, what is next then? It sounds like soon some people might demand the total abolishment of Shintoism because it was the religion of the Emperor during WWII. Well, it still is one of the official religions in Japan and many Japanese observe it without being militaristic or even nationalistic for that matter.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

ReformedBasherJan. 14, 2013 - 02:34PM JST

Taiwan was a colony for far longer, yet the Taiwanese people don't complain about Japan anywhere near as much as Koreans. Even in the case of the Senkakus, Taiwan has taken a far more mature stance than China, or Takeshima in the case of Korea.

And a much more mature stance than Japan takes to the Senkakus, the Southern Kuriles or Dokdo island.

It's one of something and all of another, but I think you buy into the Japanese version of things way too much. A lot of other Asians, while they might not vocalize their opinions, feel discomfort with a right wing leaning and remilitarized Japan. Mahatir went so far as to say that an Army for Japan is like a bottle of whisky to an alcoholic, and I have relatives in both Singapore and Hong Kong who vividly recount the cruelty of the Japanese in tales told to them by their grandparents.

The truth is that while many Asian countries are distrustful of a powerfull China, Japan, as an economic or military power, is not that popular in Asia. Most Asians would prefer that the US stays invested in Asia, even Vietnam, but feel that because the US is being led by the nose by Japan, with its version of history and geopolitics, that the US is isolating itself from its real interests.

If Asia were to divide into economic military blocs, China, by default and her economic power, would be on the inside and Japan and the US might well find themselves on the outside. It just takes a slight change in China's attitude towards it other territorial disputes in Asia, something akin to Germany who accepted the 1945 borders with Brandt's realpolitik, for China not to become the undisputed leader of Asia.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Don't visit Yasukuni please, if they want China and Korea as good neighbours.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Much ado about not much going now.But will he show the same gumption in August when the political heat will give him a gut check? Pun half intended.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The whole separation of religion/state is a bogus point as well. I'm sure you also know that many Japanese have no religion in any practical sense yet they visit a shrine around the New Year as a custom.

The difference being that 'many Japanese' are private citizens, not PM.

I suspect you may have even visited a shrine this year ... are you Shinto?

You suspect wrong. I haven't, and I aren't. I'm also not PM.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I may be politically naive, but I have never heard of Meiji Shrine as being particularly of interest to the right-wing. It may be that Abe went there to pray for his manhood. Emperor Meiji was a master showman, a brilliant grandstander, a master of stage presence who could act like he know everything about something when knowing very little. He was also a man with a huge appetite for food, drink and sex, a man seemingly limitless in his endurance. Abe has yet to assert himself by escaping from being remembered as the little man with the big bellyache. He has yet to be taken seriously, even by China when he insults it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

cleo

Most all western head of state visit a church, no?

As I had posted seperation of Church and state has nothing to do with it and the writer of this article is cheap trying to sensationlize this non-event since Meji Shrine has nothing to do right wingers.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Since when is Meiji Shrine synonymous with militarization?

Seems like the press is really reaching for a right wing angle here.

I was confuse about the same thing too. Was this article originally written by Japanese or foreign journalists?

Abe has said he hopes to visit the Yasukuni war shrine, which honors war criminals among others.

I don't know about much Japanese culture or religion but is it possible to remove those war criminals from Yasukuni war shrine.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Hansaram

I don't know about much Japanese culture or religion but is it possible to remove those war criminals from Yasukuni war shrine.

Unfortunately not. According to the Shinto religion, (and this goes way back, hundreds of years before WW 2), all enshrined souls at one particular place are inextricably bound up together. You can't just take one or two out.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Unfortunately not. According to the Shinto religion, (and this goes way back, hundreds of years before WW 2), all enshrined souls at one particular place are inextricably bound up together. You can't just take one or two out.

Does China and Korea understand this aspect of Shinto religion? Maybe if Japan explain it to them, hopefully China and Korea will understand and the purpose of Yasukuni war shrine visit is to pay respect to non war criminals there.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Even if they manage to split the 12 dudes out of the Kami, we are still left with that absolute joke of a museum that the shrine runs...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The difference being that 'many Japanese' are private citizens, not PM.

So your stance is that the PM is not allowed to visit any shrines, temples whatever for the duration of his term? Or perhaps he should sneak in during the night when TV cameras are unlikely to be following his every move?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Most all western head of state visit a church, no?

Yes, they do. In many western states the church plays a central role, eg the UK where the head of state (the monarch) is also head of the Church of England and the US with its 'one nation under God', but Japan is not a western state, and what goes on in western states has nothing to do with what is supposed to go on in Japan. Article 20 of the Japanese constitution states that No religious organization shall receive any privileges from the State, nor exercise any political authority. No person shall be compelled to take part in any religious act, celebration, rite or practice. The State and its organs shall refrain from religious education or any other religious activity.

The PM performing religious acts in an official capacity at any shrine, temple or church (or synagogue, or mosque, or circle of standing stones) confers privileges on that religious entity, and is specifically prohibited by the Constitution. The use of tax funds to finance any such religious act in a sense compels taxpayers to take part in whatever religious act the PM is taking part in, and is also prohibited. The fact that many PMs in the past have interpreted the rules ..... flexibly.... doesn't mean the rules have changed, simply that Japanese PMs (especially LDP PMs) are very adept at ignoring rules they find inconvenient.

So your stance is that the PM is not allowed to visit any shrines, temples whatever for the duration of his term?

No, only that he should not make any visit in a public capacity, and he certainly should not broadcast it to the press and mass media.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

No, only that he should not make any visit in a public capacity, and he certainly should not broadcast it to the press and mass media.

In the past when a PM has tried to visit in a "private capacity" it has made no difference - he has still been criticized. The media will follow him there and the communists will complain regardless.

The use of tax funds to finance any such religious act in a sense compels taxpayers to take part in whatever religious act the PM is taking part in, and is also prohibited.

Like I said above, for most Japanese (and Abe doesn't seem like the overly religious type) visiting a shrine around New Years is not strictly a "religious act". Its a custom.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

tian4670Jan. 14, 2013 - 08:40AM JST I knew his true color.

Then you should complain to the Chinese government fort having done everything they possibly can to ensure that the LDP would come back into power.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The Meiji Shrine and the Yasukuni Shrine were both built during the Meiji Reconstruction, right? So they BOTH are Meiji Shrines.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Tom FurnariJan

As for why the Meiji Shrine is seen as pro-military, The slogan of the Meiji period in 1905 was:

"Enrich the country, strengthen the military" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meiji_Restoration

Consider the long sluggish Japanese economy and how that could sound good to many powerful business people, not too mention many unemployed and under employed people.

This post may also be pulled like my last one as being not on topic, but again it is about why what is happening may be very important. Being aware of dangers might just help prevent them from developing. Avoiding danger is better then having to fight them once in place. Remember the long tradition against the danger of losing face.

Even in the United States it is easier for bad things to develop in economic bad times. I worry about that as well.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In the past when a PM has tried to visit in a "private capacity" it has made no difference

Which PM has ever 'tried to visit in a private capacity'? Those who do it do it because they're PM, they never visited as private citizens.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Which PM has ever 'tried to visit in a private capacity'?

Seriously? You need to read the papers more carefully. I think most PMs have tried to say they are only visiting in a private capacity, but the one famous for it was Koizumi. He visited Yasukini six or seven times and declared he was doing so as a private citizen to pray for the souls of those lost in the war. This is common knowledge and there are hundreds of links out there, but I'll post one for you anyway.

The prime minister has always maintained that he has prayed at the shrine as a private citizen, and not in his official capacity. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/17/international/asia/17japan.html?_r=0

Those who do it do it because they're PM, they never visited as private citizens.

Have you any proof of that claim? Of course you don't .... unless you follow them around before and after their terms as PM.

Bottom line - the PM of Japan should be free to visit any shrine he likes, whenever he likes.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

most PMs have tried to say they are only visiting in a private capacity, but the one famous for it was Koizumi.

Exactly - tried to say, when everyone knows the truth is that he went as PM. On his 2006 visit, Koizumi arrived in a limousine (a private one? really??), was led in by a priest in full gear, and signed the guest book as PM.

The prime minister has always maintained that he has prayed at the shrine as a private citizen, and not in his official capacity.

Except that he promised to visit Yasukuni to mark the anniversary as part of his bid for leadership of the party. Anything done to fulfil a political promise is NOT being done in a private capacity.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/4789905.stm

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@cleo

I don't know where you got your interpretation of article 20 but here is the original;

信教の自由は、何人に対してもこれを保障する。いかなる宗教団体も、国から特権を受け、又は政治上の権力を行使してはならない。

何人も、宗教上の行為、祝典、儀式又は行事に参加することを強制されない。

国及びその機関は、宗教教育その他いかなる宗教的活動もしてはならない。

No where does it bind the PM not to visit a religeous ceremony or place. The only way Abe could have violate article 20 is IF he had solicitated people to go the shrine in any way which he did not.

Even the PM has the freedom of worship which is garanteed by the constitution.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

hidingout: "In the past when a PM has tried to visit in a "private capacity" it has made no difference - he has still been criticized."

Give an example, and I mean a legitimate example. You mention Koizumi, but lest we forget he signed the books as PM of Japan, which means a public capacity, not private. As Cleo rightly points out, he TRIED to say he was going in a private capacity, but he was not at all.

"The media will follow him there and the communists will complain regardless."

Once again, you lose all credibility with this whole "those who do not agree with me are communists" garbage.

Cleo: "Except that he promised to visit Yasukuni to mark the anniversary as part of his bid for leadership of the party. Anything done to fulfil a political promise is NOT being done in a private capacity."

Exactly, and in this particular visit, he has stated out that he was going there to appeal to his right-wing voters, which is most certainly NOT private at all, nor does it show any religious belief.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

SamuraiBlue: "Even the PM has the freedom of worship which is garanteed by the constitution."

In a private capacity, absolutely.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

smithinjapan:Exactly, and in this particular visit, he has stated out that he was going there to appeal to his right-wing voters

You keep saying this, but Abe has said nothing of the kind.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Exactly - tried to say, when everyone knows the truth is that he went as PM.

"Everyone" here meaning the communists, you and other left leaning critics. I took him at his word because such a matter is up to him to decide, not me, you or any other rabble rousers. If he says he's going as a private citizen (which I have heard literally dozens of PMs say during my years in Japan) then that's what it is. Your argument is hollow because it means that a PM cannot do anything as a private citizen. If he goes to Disneyland I guess he's going in his official capacity, right? Quite frankly you haven't a leg to stand on here.

Once again, you lose all credibility ....

I consider it an honor to have no credibility in your eyes.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

hidingout: ""Everyone" here meaning the communists,"

Dude, the MacCarthy ended a LONG time ago. Drop the labelling of everyone who doesn't agree with you a 'communist'. It's quite childish, and detracts from what might sometimes otherwise be a decent argument.

"I took him at his word because such a matter is up to him to decide, not me, you or any other rabble rousers."

And you would be wrong -- the man signed in officially, and it was therefore not a private visit. You used it as 'proof' that private visits are publicized, and you were proven wrong. Can you give us any other proof of your claims?

"If he goes to Disneyland I guess he's going in his official capacity, right?"

If he goes there and signs some ledger as PM, then yes. Disney Land is not the same thing as a shrine where war criminals are enshrined, though, just so you know, so not sure what you're getting at with this off-the-wall analogy.

"Your argument is hollow because it means that a PM cannot do anything as a private citizen."

Not at all. He can, he just can't sign in as PM and then declare it a private visit. Hence, it's not MY argument that's hollow, it's yours, since your only proof has been proven wrong.

Abe is doing this SOLELY for the right-wingers that voted for him -- he himself has said that, and the media admitted it. This is much the same media that is so far praising Abe, by the way, before you go labelling them all communists.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Your argument is hollow because it means that a PM cannot do anything as a private citizen. If he goes to Disneyland I guess he's going in his official capacity, right?

If he turns up in a limo provided from the public purse and signs in as PM, then yes he's going in his official capacity. I don't see what bit of this is so difficult for you to understand. And what fool ever takes a pollie at his word??

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The State and its organs shall refrain from religious education or any other religious activity.

Let's examine this shall we, the PM is neither state nor organ. Yes, he is the representative and part of an organization called the cabinet and you can interpret it all you like but whether he had signed in as Prime Minister or as an individual really does not matter since there are no issued documents confirming his position by other members of the cabinet that he had offically represented them in going to Meiji shrine.

And no for the countless times Meji shrine has no relationship with right wingers, if anyone states this they better have some evidence to prove it.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He signed in as 内閣総理大臣 安倍晋三 (Prime Minister, Abe Shinzo).

TV Tokyo showed him waving to the crowds and shaking hands with members of the public. If that's not a visit in a public capacity, I don't know what is.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If he turns up in a limo provided from the public purse and signs in as PM, then yes he's going in his official capacity

You said "which PM has ever tried to visit in a private capacity". I gave you one example (of many I could have chosen) of a PM who I personally saw on TV saying again and again that he was attending in his private capacity. You don't want to take him at his word, and you say that he signed in as PM. That's up to you. Now you say that his car is paid for by the public purse - as if you had the receipt in hand yourself. You don't even want to acknowledge that the media will follow a PM wherever he goes and publicize his actions whether he wants them to or not.

Maybe we should suggest that the PM wear a blue tie when he is functioning as a person and a red tie when he is functioning as a PM to clear things up for everyone. I don't suppose even that would work because you'd find some other grounds on which to dismiss his activity.

I won't bother with this conversation anymore because you obviously don't want to discuss in good faith.

.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

smithinjapan: Abe is doing this SOLELY for the right-wingers that voted for him -- he himself has said that, and the media admitted it.

Again, Abe has never said this, and furthermore the media hasn't "admitted" anything.

The AP, in an editorial comment, speculated that he was playing to the right wing voters.

How is that even remotely similar to what you're claiming?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

hidingout: "I gave you one example (of many I could have chosen) of a PM who I personally saw on TV saying again and again that he was attending in his private capacity."

And he was not, not at all. So your example, as well as your argument, are moot.

"You don't want to take him at his word, and you say that he signed in as PM. That's up to you."

No, IT'S FACT -- it's not opinion or up for decision.

"You don't even want to acknowledge that the media will follow a PM wherever he goes and publicize his actions whether he wants them to or not."

Because you could not provide any examples of when someone goes privately and is followed. Of COURSE if they go in a public capacity -- especially if they announce it like Abe did -- they will be followed.

"I won't bother with this conversation anymore because you obviously don't want to discuss in good faith."

THe only thing obvious is that you CAN'T discuss it. You've been proven wrong time and again on this thread but seem to think Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni were private, as though it's a matter of opinion and not fact that he was going in public office. As Cleo said, I don't see what's so hard to understand for you with that. Is it that you just have a hard time admitting you didn't really look into it before posting?

hokkaidoguy: Were he paying a private visit, and not a televised, public visit, I would honestly say all the power to him and even possibly respect him for his beliefs, but it's quite clear why he was doing this, and easy to understand why he was doing it in a public capacity.

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And he was not, not at all. So your example, as well as your argument, are moot.

Yes he was. He said he was. He insisted again and again that he was. It matters not what feeble protestations you try to drum up, the decision is obviously up to the man himself. Now if you are calling him a liar that's a whole different story, and not really something that would surprise me coming from you.

Is it that you just have a hard time admitting you didn't really look into it before posting?

Wrong again. I didn't need to "look into it" because I've seen it time and time again over the years. I think it was cleo who posted without having her facts in order when she suggested that no PM has visited any of these shrines in his private capacity. A cursory google search will show just how wrong you both are on that point. No surprise that you would jump in and play second fiddle though ..... Its also no surprise that you both would ignore the information posted for your edification by SamuraiBlue - doesn't fit with your theories so much safer to just ignore it.

Drop the labelling of everyone who doesn't agree with you a 'communist'

First , I'm correctly labeling the communists as communists - you know, the ones who live in china and always bleat the loudest whenever a PM visits a shrine they don't like. Believe it or not Smith, not everything is about you, or directed at you. And second, you throw the terms "winger" and "rightist" around like candy, perhaps you should clean up your own posting style before giving advice to others. Just a thought.

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cleo

He signed in as 内閣総理大臣 安倍晋三 (Prime Minister, Abe Shinzo).

Of course he did, it is his present title. It doesn't automatically mean he is on official business. It's like a Ph.D signing his title it doesn't mean his in business either.

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@SamuraiBlue

How many Japanese people use their title when they sign something normally? I've never seen anyone sign something as "Tanaka Taro Sensei" or "Suzuki Hanako San". Abe was obviously trying to make a point. A nasty little jingoistic point.

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lucabrasi

Many CEO and executives of renown companies signs their title in those books.

Score points from the media as a politian perhaps but still does not mean he was on offical business.

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Is it really such a hotbed of right wingers? Well, according to wikipedia "Meiji Shrine was brought into the flow of current events with the 2009 visit of United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. After arriving in Tokyo on her first foreign trip representing the newly elected President Barack Obama, she made her way to this shrine in advance of meetings with Japan's leaders to show her "respect toward history and the culture of Japan."[6] In January 2010, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle demonstrated the same respect when he concluded his visit to Japan with a visit of the shrine.[7]"

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@Samurai

You have a point, but I'd still reckon that drawing attention to your position as head of government risks misunderstanding, if you intend your visit to be private.

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Meiji Shrine is now a right wing establishment? Who comes up with this stuff? Then look down at the bottom and it's "Associated Press".

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Oh, Abe can do anything he wants he is the PM. This is just a part of the plans to set Japan on the road to oblivion. Here are what on the news: provoking China, stirring up nationalism, increasing military spending, rewriting apology statement, changing history books, visiting Meiji Shrine and later Yasukuni Shrine, and many more. He loves the spot lights. He wants people to talk about him and remember him. After his economic stimulus failed, he would pick a fight with China and he would be on the news again this time “blame China not me”.

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I'm slightly confused by the idea that visiting the Meiji Shrine appeals to "rightists". It might sate their desire for him to go to Yasukuni, but it will also please people who aren't right-wing. Apart from some virulent republicans, I haven't met any Japanese people yet who think there's something wrong with going to the Meiji Shrine. In fact quite a few say they like it because the Meiji emperor was associated with reform and Japan's opening up to the world.

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