politics

Another cabinet minister visits Yasukuni Shrine

34 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© 2013 AFP

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

34 Comments
Login to comment

“It is a duty for parliamentarians… to extend his or her heartfelt condolences to those who devoted their life to their own country and to solemnly renew the vows for eternal peace,”

does it mean the head of the parliament Shinzo Abe failed to fulfill his duty?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

He argued the shrine was not meant to “glorify” war. Rather, it is a place which many Japanese citizens have visited and maintained… to console the soul of their kin and friends who devoted their life to the country,” he added

Then why aren't the offending designated "category A" war criminals removed to a separate shrine? If that were to happen, the reason for the thinking that the shrine glorifies the war that Japan mercilessly waged against its Asian neighbors would also be removed. Is that too simple a solution or is it that the extreme right wing is so still so powerful in Japan that it must be pandered to every year with this ridiculous political charade?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

just because he is visiting this shrine, it doesnt mean he is worshiping bad guys.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

@billy

In Shinto, all the souls at the same shrine are believed to be united as "kami". It's not possible to separate them. Now you might well have very little time for such beliefs, but them's the rules as far as believers are concerned. (I wonder if there are any genuine Shintoists in the 21st century....)

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Remove the criminals from the shrine list and it would no longer be a problem.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Let's face it, people of these three great nations:

the most vocal politicos on this issue are those with the weakest value propositions.

Their relationship is symbiotic. Détente = redundancy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"A second Japanese cabinet minister visited a controversial war shrine on Sunday but said he had no intention of provoking neighboring countries..."

So, the guy in charge of the abduction issue with NK publicly announced his visit to a shrine that NK is very much against, and says he intends no harm?

Do Japanese ministers get their credentials in Kindergarten?

0 ( +8 / -8 )

In Shinto, all the souls at the same shrine are believed to be united as "kami". It's not possible to separate them

These "souls" used to be physically separated until they were purposely smuggled into Yasukuni by the shrine authorities and uyoku dantai (right wing yakuza groups) in 1978 with the sole (no pun intended) purpose of making a political statement justifying Japan's role in Asia in the 1930s and 1940s. Shinto believers thinking the war criminals' souls would still be there, even if their remains had been taken away, wouldn't be an issue for concerned countries, I think; it would however be a gesture that could put this issue to bed forever. Why it will never happen is obvious and that is what antagonizes China and Korea in particular.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Sir SmithinJapan

Everyone is free to visit the shrine and pay respect to those good soldiers who fought for Japan. Since they are in their own country, they have the rights to do such thing and it is not other nations business. Why are you so concerned about it when the majority of the people really dont care about who is visiting such shrine???

1 ( +8 / -7 )

If I remember correctly, South Korean goverment or media has said that they would not allow Yasukuni visit even if those 14 people were removed. Present SK president also said that South Korea( or She) would not forgive Japan 1,000 years to come. So, I don't think there is any difference whether we pay respect or not pay respect to the shrine.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Mitsuo: "Everyone is free to visit the shrine and pay respect to those good soldiers who fought for Japan."

And you are just as free to ignore history and let it be repeated, like Abe and Co. are champing at the bit for. But when you're there, honoring war criminals, don't honestly ask for peace and seem baffled when neighbours get upset over your visit.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Sir smithinjapan

Yes, I am free to do such thing too. However boy, you should remember they; the politics as well as other people are visiting this shrine to pay respect to soldiers who fought for their nation. Now, I ask, what is the problem to pay respect to those who fought for their country?

Sir TinaWatanabe

You are right, regardless of what Japan will do with those so called A class war criminals(14), both Korea and China will still be against and will keep using Yasukuni as a tool to fuel their angry against Japan.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Mitsuyo: "Yes, I am free to do such thing too. However boy, you should remember they; the politics as well as other people are visiting this shrine to pay respect to soldiers who fought for their nation. Now, I ask, what is the problem to pay respect to those who fought for their country?"

Interesting that you choose to call me 'sir', then 'boy', in the same posts. To the point though, your logic is circular, and that's all. What's wrong with politicians going to visit Yasukuni? Do you seriously need to ask? I've said before if people want to go in a PRIVATE capacity and pay respects to criminals, fine. But when they hold press conferences and announce to the media beforehand or after that they are going or have gone, sign in with their title, ride in company cars, etc., they are simply making a political statement, and that damages relations with neighbours, which in turn hurts the nation. So, try and understand this, a lawmaker or politician going to Yasukuni HURTS the nation, not helps it. And as has been said time and time again, it's a problem that they are paying their respects at a shrine where war criminals are included, and you KNOW they were war criminals. Get rid of the criminals names, and introduce information on the atrocities Japan committed, stop glorifying Imperial Japan, and Yasukuni just might get some respect.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Sir Smith

The way how you say sounds like the whole world oppose to such visit when actually only ROK and PRC do. Have a nice night.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Mitsuo (and sorry for writing Mitsuyo all those times, it was not intended): You're wrong. There are plenty of others who oppose the visits. Taiwan, for starters.

"In June 2005, a senior LDP member proposed moving the 14 Class A war criminals to a separate site. Shinto priests refused this proposal, quoting Japan's freedom of religion laws under the Japanese Constitution."

A very wise proposal, but no surprise the ignorant Izokukai refuse to do it while holding out their hand for government subsidies and donations. The government should cut off all funding to the shrine until it moves out AT LEAST the 14 class A war criminals (sorry, Mitsuo, but they were tried and convicted, with proof). They'd be pretty quick to do it then.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Sir Smith

Ok, a minority of people in Taiwan, who else? You said that they were convicted with proof. How can be sure about it if you were not there? The truth of matter is the so called victims were not real victims as they claim. The reason why PRC and ROC use Yasukuni Shrine as issue is because they want to divert people from domestical issues. I bet with you that even ordinary Koreans and Chinese really dont care or know about it. They say they know, but from the moment that we ask questions, they are unable to answer simples questions with strong evidences. They say they have witness, but just because they are witness it doesnt mean they really were aware of such event. I remember a chinese boy using a American missionary as a way to prove his points, but from the moment that questioned him some questions he couldnt answer my questions. I can take myself as an example to say that not always a witness can be a proof that such thing is true. I saw some Hawaian leaders trying to take some lands, but since I didnt know what was going on and details I end up misunderstanding the situation because the real situation had nothing to do with what I was thinking, and those leaders were not taking, but trying to convince such city to accept development projects that they by ignorance didnt want to accept. In other words, those leaders were right, and the populacho which I judge victims were actually wrong. The same apply to things pertaining to WWII, nobody really can garantee that Nanjing Massacre really happened, especially after analizing those pictures that have huge contradition. It doesnt mean I am denying, but saying that not always what they say are true unless strong evidences are showed. Have a nice night.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

Mitsuo: "Ok, a minority of people in Taiwan,"

Ah, so you admit you are wrong. Good on you.

"The truth of matter is the so called victims were not real victims as they claim."

Nah, you know better than them. After all, you were there... oh wait, you weren't!

"The reason why PRC and ROC use Yasukuni Shrine as issue is because they want to divert people from domestical issues."

I don't really recall those nations or others demanding Japanese politicians visit -- it is Japan that uses Yasukuni for political purposes. No one forces them to go.

"The same apply to things pertaining to WWII, nobody really can garantee that Nanjing Massacre really happened,"

This is so disgusting I don't know where to begin. You have proof of the massacre LITERALLY encased at the site, you have former Imperial Army soldiers who admit to it completely, and you have victims who managed to survive it. It's always sick to hear how people who were never there question those who confess to the atrocities and say they know better.

" It doesnt mean I am denying"

It most certainly does.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Smithinjapan

The International Military Tribunal for the Far East was biased, you know that right? Winner is right, loser is wrong. Did you know why Japan had to start the war? Please do not talk like you are god. Why don't you check history from Japanese standpoint. Just try.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

The way how you say sounds like the whole world oppose to such visit when actually only ROK and PRC do.

@Mitsuo Matsuyama--You forgot about the current and previous emperor. Plus its not just those countries, but so many private citizens in those countries. Also former PM Fukuda. Oh, and about half the population of Japan. U.S. Secretary of State Kerry and War Secretary Chuck Hagel snubbed Yasukuni and went to Chidori ga Fuchi at the beginning of this month. I think its safe to say they stand with smithinjapan and I.

If few outside of Japan and Japan's immediate neighbors don't take issue with Yasukuni and visits there by politicians, its ignorance. Yasukuni was not even in my vocabulary when I first came here. Since learning about it, I have had to swim through a sea of lies (cough).

BTW, the official position of Yasukuni on the war: "Yasukuni Shrine does not regard the conduct of Japan during World War II as an act of aggression but rather matter of self-defence and a heroic effort to repel European Imperialism. "

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controversies_surrounding_Yasukuni_Shrine

I am not saying that Japanese officials are not permitted to visit the shrine. I am just saying that if they do, their position on history becomes clearly apparent, whatever words they may utter to the contrary. This should be known to all, and they should all suffer the consequences of their choice rather than try to bury their choice under obfuscations such as "only 14 criminals" and "honoring war dead" and "its just like Arlington" etc. That is smoke and mirrors. The truth is that they think no Japanese did anything wrong during the war and they think all the people the IJA murdered and raped got what they deserved.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

delta:

I do not agree with you. An aggressor - or the one triggering a war - is wrong a defender is right, regardless of the winner.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Communist China and South Korea must stop using Yasukuni Shrine as their political game in their country. Japanese politicians and Japanese peoples visiting Yasukuni Shrine is paying their respect to peoples who lost their lives in war. They are not going to glorify past Japanese Imperialism. Today Japanese Government and Japanese peoples are peace loving peoples.

History can not change but future can be steering away from war and atrocity in anywhere in the world by forgiveness and peaceful negotiation. Communist Chinese Government and South Korea Government knew very well about today Japanese society. Please, do not fabricated history and do not feed poison to you're own peoples for your own sake.

Communist Chinese leaders and South Korea politicians must understand you’re hatred toward someone will burn you're heart first. You have to admit about using Yasukuni Shrine issue as your own political gain and must stop it.

Japanese Royal family, Japanese Government and Japanese peoples are sincerely regretted about the war atrocity which was involved by Japanese Imperial Military in during the WWII. Those responsible for war atrocity were prosecuted and they have repaid the price for what they have done.

Yasukuni Shrine was not built especially for 14 convicted war criminals and to honor them. It was built with tradition of Japanese Shinto religion for soul of peoples who lost their lives in during the war.

Chinese Communist Leader Mao Zedong and Communist Chinese leaders have committed war crime because their supporting Khmer Rouge regime with their Communism ideology and war materials. Moa Zedong and his Communist cronies have committed war crime by torture, persecution and killing of millions of Chinese peoples in mainland China. Charles Taylor convicted by The Hague by a special United Nations court for aiding and abetting atrocities during Sierra Leone's civil war. Mao Zedong was committed same crime as Charles Taylor in Indochina region and his homeland.

Pol Pot regime had responsible for murdered more than millions of Cambodia peoples. Communist Chinese Government and Mao Zedong encouraged Khmer Rouge leader’s Pol Pot to enforced Communist ideology in Cambodia as result millions of Cambodia peoples were forced to work in farm like concentration camp and without enough foods and no medical care. Cambodia peoples have right to hate Communist Chinese Government but they don’t. The Cambodia politicians never use Khmer rouge leaders and their backer Communist Chinese leaders for their political gain.

Nobody perfect and everybody have to move on. Hang on past is not answer for bilateral relation between two countries. Only forgiveness and understanding will stop war in

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

delta: "Did you know why Japan had to start the war? Please do not talk like you are god."

Because they wanted war, and used an oil blockade as an excuse -- I mean, after they took advantage of the war in Europe to expand their empire in Asia, of course, and its war with China. Japan wanted to advance further south into British Malay for oil but knew that would trigger all out war. So, they pretended to be diplomatic in an effort to stop the embargo, but due to Japanese aggression in China the US refused. They then cut off all diplomacy 30 minutes before the attack on Pearl Harbor and attacked the US in an unprecedented, unprovoked slaughter that even the Japanese leadership in charge KNEW was a mistake.

That help you, delta? I'm not god by any means, I just speak the facts, not deny them.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Hopefully if visits from a sitting MP become a daily occurrence, it will just become a normal thing and not be reported on any more.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

homleand: "Hopefully if visits from a sitting MP become a daily occurrence, it will just become a normal thing and not be reported on any more."

Yeah, as 'normal' as unreported as the Chinese ships that go around the Senkakus as a result.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Kobuta Chan:

History can not change

The issue is that there are people who try to change it. The museum right to the Yasukuni Shrine is a perfect example. Japanese school books - so far as I am aware from Japanese acquaintances - is a second one. Without that fixed, this shrine noise will remain for decades!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I'm very happy to see Japanese citizens exercising their freedom to observe their religious and cultural ceremonies. Communists (and their sympathizers) who don't like it, should have at least realized by now that they'd better get used to it.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Japanese politicians should have to freedom to visit Yasukuni shrine to homage to the war dead including to the war criminals.

Chinese and Koreans should have the freedom to boycott Japanese products or visiting Japan.

BTW shares of Japanese businesses in China and Korea are PLUNGING. Korea TOYOTA sales are absolutely dismal. While many Japanese firms are considering pulling out of China (2nd largest economy) all together.

All and all -- NOBODY WINS.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Much ado about nothing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Open MindedOct. 20, 2013 - 11:12PM JST Kobuta Chan: History can not change The issue is that there are people who try to change it. The museum right to the Yasukuni Shrine is a perfect example. >Japanese school books - so far as I am aware from Japanese acquaintances - is a second one. Without that fixed, this >shrine noise will remain for decades!

What is in the museum that attempts to "change" history? I have been there, seen all the exhibits and saw nothing that does what you say. Have you been there? If so please tell me which exhibit attempts to "change history". Japanese textbooks all make clear that Japan was the aggressor in WWII and that it was responsible for bringing suffering onto many Asian countries. What more is needed?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Because they wanted war, and used an oil blockade as an excuse

Sigh. I do wonder about the education level of some here.

"Even contemporary historians could think that 'as for the present war, the Principality of Monaco, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, would have taken up arms against the United States on receipt of such a note. (Hull Note)'"

"They lack cotton,they lack wool,they lack petoroleum products,they lack tin, they lack rubber,they lack a great many other things, all which was in the Asiatic basin. They feared that if those supplies were cut off, there would be 10 to 12 million people unoccupied in Japan. Their purpose, therefore, in going to war was largely dictated by security."

In summary, going to war against U.S. was their last resort. The discussions within the top and the negotiations that lead up to the Hull note clearly indicates this if a person with some intelligence had bothered to look them up.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

By having the world war ii bad guys in the shrine, Japan confuses the line between patriotism and devil worship for everyone who goes there. A visitor to the shrine can be labeled either way for whatever political convenience by the advocate. This is the unfortunate reality.

No doubt there are factions in China who wants to boost defense spending, not unlike the republican party in the US. And to promote their agenda, they link the island dispute with Abe's political tendencies, his defense policies, his US relationship policies, and his cabinet members visits or offerings to the shrine. They link all these together, to make Japan look like it's on the path of imperialist resurgence. Is this the reality of Japan or Japanese citizens? No doubt they are fanatical individuals among them, but as a whole, the comparative picture is likely very wrong. Yet all we see coming out of Abe's government are rhetorics that seem to re-enforce that picture. As a result nationalist feelings rise on both sides.

Abe must take a step back and reflect on Japan's long term interest. His term as PM may be short, but his policies could affect Japan's relationship with China for the next 50 years.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Each year on December the 7th do Japanese go to shrines and pray for forgiveness? Just wondered if the Yasakuni Shrine was busy each December the 7th; it's kind of an important date in the modern history of Japan.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japanese politicians should have to freedom to visit Yasukuni shrine to homage to the war dead including to the war criminals.

But we all know that the war dead aren't buried in Yasukuni shrine but were buried at Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery in Tokyo which is just a short distance from the Yasukuni shrine.

So if Japanese want to pay homage to the war dead, they can always go to the Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery to do so as what the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense of the US government suggested.

The Yasukuni shrine does claim that it has managed to capture some 2.46 million souls of the Japanese soldiers from all over the world in the name of its living God and high priest, Emperor Hirohito. However, this was proved to be merely a lie when Emperor Hirohito announced that he was no God but just a human being and Japanese aren't a superior race in his human declaration in January 1946.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

But we all know that the war dead aren't buried in Yasukuni shrine but were buried at Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery in Tokyo which is just a short distance from the Yasukuni shrine.

They are ashes of unidentified soldiers.

So if Japanese want to pay homage to the war dead, they can always go to the Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery to do so as what the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense of the US government suggested.

Lawmakers and government officials does both.

The Yasukuni shrine does claim that it has managed to capture some 2.46 million souls of the Japanese soldiers from all over the world in the name of its living God and high priest, Emperor Hirohito. However, this was proved to be merely a lie when Emperor Hirohito announced that he was no God but just a human being and Japanese aren't a superior race in his human declaration in January 1946.

The western conception of "god" differs that from "kami".

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites