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Biden spent hour on phone asking Abe not to visit Yasukuni shrine

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An hour? Seriously? An hour on the phone trying to persuade this right wing nationalist PM Abe not to do or say something that will piss off his country's neighbors? Golly gee, seems Biden didn't read the character descriptions before he started to play the game.

10 ( +16 / -6 )

So much for alliances; Abe is a loose cannon. For the nationalists who would argue that Japan is a sovereign nation and that it can do whatever it wants, I say that the national leader has an obligation to protect the safety and the welfare of his fellow citizens. The visit did neither. This guy is an idiot.

12 ( +20 / -8 )

Japanese government doesn't tell the US what to do or not to do so they shouldn't tell us either.

And they can start a war whenever they feel like but a Japanese PM can't visit a shrine ? yeah, that sounds logical

-13 ( +19 / -29 )

Abe thinks that he is clever but he is proving to be a godsend for China. He will singularly push the US towards China and drive Japan away from the rest of the world. Will he survive 2014? He is doing everything to distract the Japanese from the impending tax hike but I think he will not survive after May. What the Chinese citizens need to do is to boycott Japanese products for 3 months and Abe's arrows will all misfire!

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Why does one feel the need to pay tribute to an enterprise that failed to protect Japan's interests?

Those enshrined at Yasukuni were tasked to secure Japan's sources of raw materials such as petroleum, natural rubber and industrial metals but they couldn't. If I must give thanks to these failures, what should I say, "Thanks Tojo-san, we now buy most of our oil from the Saudis."

3 ( +9 / -6 )

I find it strange, if the prime minister wants to pray for peace, there are a lot better places to do like Hiroshima Peace Park. Given he has been going to Africa for negotiation, he could've made a short stop. Who decided Yasukuni Shrine to be the major temple to pray for peace? Well the nationalists got to do what they got to do, baiting to make neighbour countries look like bunch of moronic babies.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

I agree. His rationale was ludicrous. And American leaders absolutely DO have the right to express their opinions when a treaty ally is about to do something really stupid which will make the chances of armed conflict more likely, if ever so slightly.

Abe's behavior makes it difficult for moderates in favor of a strong alliance (like me) to support his govt. like Aso, the less he talks, the better Japan's international image.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

Biden is preparing to be next Presidential candidate. So, he has to make sure Japan will be 51st /state of USA. He has to outdo Hilary. As for Abe, he has to demonstrate Japan is not USA territory. So.he defies whatever USA demand Abe to do. He hasn't demanded US President stop visiting Arlington. Abe speaks So. Calif. English. So my guess is that they conversed in English, Does Biden speak Calif. English? Or standard Japanese? Communication gaps?

-19 ( +2 / -20 )

Japanese government doesn't tell the US what to do or not to do so they shouldn't tell us either.

@Hide Suzuki The US government obviously didn't 'tell' the Japanese government what to do, nor has it in many decades. Rather, Biden pleaded with Abe to act sensibly and rationally, given that U.S.'s huge vested interest in peaceful and constructive relations between Japan and China, with lives of countless U.S. service members at stake should provocative political moves plunge the U.S. into a conflict here.

And yes, this is a two way street. The Japanese government likewise tries to persuade U.S. officials, usually behind closed diplomatic doors, if the U.S. government acts in a way that goes against Japan's best interests. This all brings about healthy and stronger bilateral ties. I applaud Biden for his attempt here, albeit disappointingly unsuccessful.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

@Hide Suzuki

Japanese government doesn't tell the US what to do or not to do so they shouldn't tell us either. And they can start a war whenever they feel like but a Japanese PM can't visit a shrine ? yeah, that sounds logical

I'm sure you are aware why Asian neighbors got pissed when a Japanese PM visits Yasukuni. Needless to say, it is not an 'ordinary' shrine.

Executed Class A war criminal Hideki Tojo was enshrined there. Last time I checked, fourteen Class A war criminals were enshrined in Yasukuni.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

Don't pander to his ego by begging on the phone. Call him an asshat in official statements after he goes and quit supporting him. Don't allow him to meet the president if he goes. Do something.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

In Abe’s defense, indignant Abe defied Biden’s request was, in part, because Biden seemed not standing by Abe’s demand for putting pressure on China to rescind its ADIZ, instead, Biden was focusing on a broad-scale development of Sino-American relations when he was in Beijing; and further, Abe knew that visiting Yasukuni Shrine was a surefire mechanism to win domestic support and thus uplift his approval rating amid his failed attempt to stop assertive China.in East China Sea.

Hawkish Abe is a perfect example of something we call a double-edged-sword “syndrome” . On one hand, Abe’s right-leaning stance and nationalistic ambition are winning strong Japanese public support. His admin’s approval rating remains high even the controversies resulted from Abe's antagonistic and tactless comments swirling around him constantly. On the other hand, Abe’s domestic success largely bases on nationalism ironically is making Abe and Japan to be isolated on international stage with visible acceleration.

As the matter of fact, not only governments in European Union, normally sympathetic to Japan, shun away from Abe but also Japan’s longtime allies openly and covertly express their let-downs regarding to Abe’s nationalistic agenda.

A comparable phenomenon took place in GWB’s first term of presidency, America then was under the spell of so called patriotism advocated by Bush’s admin, and we, the Americans, obsessed to win the war on terror at all costs (including to establish Patriot Act which expanded NSA role significantly and increase defense budget to highest level in American history), yet at the same time, US was losing supports from some of its traditional allies not to mentions the growing resentments and bitterness vented from nations in Middle East region. Although Bush’s admin’s noble foreign doctrine of spreading democracy and freedom gained little echo aboard while debts and number of death of American soldiers hit home really high, Bush- Cheney duo’s domestic support level still remainded high for a quite length of time.

History taught America a painful lesson from Bush’s patriotic enthusiasm and blindness. Today, the lingering effects from Iraqi and Afghanistan wars started under Bush’s admin are still haunting the US economically and geopolitically. But, a good thing is that Obama admin and American public are less like buy the arguments campaigned by Republican pundits such as Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham any more. As a direct result, the US becomes more pragmatic and less ideological in international theater today.

People here may curiously wonder if there is win-win solution for Abe, the answer to the question is unlikely at this time. However the time may arrive when Japan runs through its own course with Abe.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The Japanese prime minister has not held a summit with Chinese president Xi Jinping or South Korean President Park Geun-Hye since taking office in December 2012

What's not reported in this news report, but which was reported in the Asahi News is that the foreign ministries of South Korea and Japan were meeting at the same time as the call between Biden and Abe. The two countries were hammering out the details for the upcoming planned summit meeting between the two leaders of South Korea and Japan. South Korea called it off, right after Abe and his smiling face attended the shrine with the entire Japanese media in tow. Now the Japanese nationalists and their apologists say Japan has every right to attend their own shrine. Fine. But South Korea also has a right not to meet with jerks who says his door's always open for talks, then goes ahead and slams them closed.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Biden really is an ineffectual clown.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

No country will wage a war over Yasukuni visit, so don't worry Mr.Biden. And there are many things Mr. Abe knows more than you do, such as China/Skorea's mentality toward Japan, or how much efforts Japan has made to help those two coutries or how being nice to those coutries only make them more bolden and belligerent, etc. We have to see things in a longer time span.

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

After hearing this I've lost even more respect for Abe, and faith in the J-gov, which to some, may reflect on Japan as a whole. Continually ignoring international advice, pleas and problems may result in something very bad happening which will affect everyone other than people like Abe and his pals. For the people Abe. Listen to the people and do it for the people.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Says the people of the country that had bombed, invaded, destroy and left in ruins 2 countries only in the last decade.

Thank you U.S... but you are a very poor character when it comes to talk about peace and friendly relations with other countries....

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Probie: Don't pander to his ego by begging on the phone. Call him an asshat in official statements after he goes and quit supporting him. Don't allow him to meet the president if he goes. Do something.

Yes, exactly. But it leads to another question: which end of the phone line had the bigger asshat?

tinawatanabe: No country will wage a war over Yasukuni visit, so don't worry Mr.Biden. And there are many things Mr. Abe knows more than you do, such as China/Skorea's mentality toward Japan, or how much efforts Japan has made to help those two coutries or how being nice to those coutries only make them more bolden and belligerent, etc. We have to see things in a longer time span.

So, if we look at the longer time span of history, your belief is that "Japan has been very nice and helpful to China/South Korea, and they have been belligerent in response"? Wow. I think Mr. Abe should hire you to help him revise Japan's textbooks.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@The Original wing

So, if we look at the longer time span of history, your belief is that "Japan has been very nice and helpful to China/South Korea, and they have been belligerent in response"? Wow. I think Mr. Abe should hire you to help him revise Japan's textbooks. - See more at: http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/biden-spent-hour-on-phone-asking-abe-not-to-visit-yasukuni-shrine#comment_1717598

Yes.. Japan has being VERY charitative and helped a lot both countries. So yes, China and S. Korea should rethink their stance.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

For Mr Suzuki, perhaps the US should reconsider its past willingness to defend Japan against potential enemies, China being the most obvious.

The difference, sir, is that the US does not seek or need Japan's military support, but Japan clearly does need the us military, even with today's relatively impotent foreign force projection from China.

Give China another five or ten years, and Japan will not be so lucky.

Allies pay attention to issues which could involve their ally in a potential military action.

Abe does not understand, or does not care, and that could be catastrophic for the people of Japan.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Daniel Neagari: Yes.. Japan has being VERY charitative and helped a lot both countries. So yes, China and S. Korea should rethink their stance.

OK. Could you give us some examples of the helpful and charitable things Japan has done for them? I don't want to ignore the good things Japan has done, because they're important. But also, I believe Japan has also done some very harmful and destructive things to them, and it would really take a lot of help and charity to make up for those damages.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Biden, once suggested to divide Iraq to three regions? He is wrong on most issues and well known having difficulty to keep his lid on as supposed to. Abe stands on his ground, and for Biden; thick skin politics as usual.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Refusing to oblige the Americans? Forgetting who the boss is? The Americans cannot and do not tolerate such behavior! Heads will roll!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Well if you kindly look the amount of time and money that Japan has expended in providing technical assistance (it is not giving just cash money but knowledge) to those both countries you should get a hold of what I am talking.

In fact, China is still receiving a social and technical assistance in urban development, water resources, road and infrastructure, etc.

And for S. Korea, though currently there is not such technical and social assistance provided to them by Japan (because they don't need it anymore), in the past Japan has given the same kind of help. Japan was in fact who help Korea for urban development and environmental recovery and the list is very long. I would even risk to say that in part, the reason why S. Korea is one of the technical and financial big countries in the World is because the help Japan has given to them

Of course, i fear that little fact I doubt both countries will admit.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

"Japanese government doesn't tell the US what to do or not to do so they shouldn't tell us either."

Biden didn't tell the Japan what to do. The difference is that if a war starts, boys from Texas and Alabama could die. You won't see country boys from Gunma going to die to save the US from anyone.

"Thank you U.S... but you are a very poor character when it comes to talk about peace"

No they're pretty good actually. They gained peace that Japan did it's best to destroy back in WW2. Maybe you haven't read about it yet. It was quite a big thing a few years ago. Some people died even.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Abe is an insecure guy. May be he feels he need a public image boost at the moment. May be he deliberately let this "news" leak out, to show his voters what a tough guy he is, daring to stand up to the Americans. He will be dealt with. Just wait.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Abe is acting like Kim jong un

7 ( +10 / -3 )

@Hide Suzuki

So very true.

By the way, where's the usual crowd claiming Japan is the puppet of the US?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkqgDoo_eZE

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Abe's general strategy in terms of foreign policy in Asia:

Step 1: Do what he wants.

Step 2: Pause, wait for outrage from neighbours.

Step 3: Call for peace and dialogue the next day, which the neighbouring countries will ignore, and he gets to be the good guy.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

All Mr Biden has to do is to persuade China/SKorea that paying respect for those who fought for the country is nothing wrong. China/Skorea are just using this matter to hit Japan. You'll see by reading their papers or watching their tv programs. If Japan doesn't visit the shrine, they find something else to hit Japan. Look at the past records.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

More than 2 million soldiers are enshrined and less than 100 war criminals also in Yasukuni there. Why not prime minister can go to pray? Surely he is praying for just soldiers who died for the country, not for criminals.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Likely a misleading headline. The 1 hour was probably due to language barriers and would have taken less than 5 minutes if they were fluent in each other's native language.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

More proof of how stupid and uncaring about international relations Abe is. Praise for Abenomics? he wants the world's stage. Condemnation of China? he wants the world's stage. Visit to Yasukuni? "I'll decide for myself -- it's private!"

kwatt: "More than 2 million soldiers are enshrined and less than 100 war criminals also in Yasukuni there."

Wrong. There are more than a thousand war criminals enshrined there, though obviously not all are class A.

"Surely he is praying for just soldiers who died for the country"

Wrong again. He said flat out that he will go to visit if China refuses to sit down to the table and talk, which means he went out of spite, plain and simple. Not exactly the actions of someone who calls himself a leader and purports to want improved relations.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Abe don't like someone telling him or suggesting what to do and he made good point with his behavior by going there. Biden spend to much time talking about the subject and that is why get opposite result from his effort.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

He wasted his time...

2 ( +3 / -1 )

More than 2 million soldiers are enshrined and less than 100 war criminals also in Yasukuni there. Why not prime minister can go to pray? Surely he is praying for just soldiers who died for the country, not for criminals.

Do you really think the Prime Minister is thinking "I pray for the souls of these ward dead. Except for the 1000 war criminals, definitely not praying for their souls."

And yes, there are over 1000 war criminals there, not less than 100: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controversies_surrounding_Yasukuni_Shrine#War_criminals

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Smith

No much differece beween 100, 1000 war criminals in comparison with 2 million soldiers. Abe would have gone to Yasukuni whether China refused to sit and talk or not, because he already has decided to go visit when he became a prime minister again. He said so in media press.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Daniel Neagari:

What you said is a fair point - Japan certainly has funded a lot of Chinese infrastructure development. However - why was Japan doing it? Just to be friendly? From my understanding, Japan offered this aid to try to apologize for Japan's past military aggression against China. Is that "nice" and "charitable"?

Regarding the technology to Korea - I don't know much about that situation, so I will take your word for it. But again - perhaps Korea's technological development was slowed down by the Japanese occupation, so that they needed help in the future.

Person A attacks and injures Person B, but then carries Person B to the hospital. Is Person A a nice person? Is Person A a bad person? I think the answer is that Person A is a complex mix of nice and bad - but clearly not "all nice." (Clearly not "all bad" either!)

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Biden should have treated Abe the same way he did Paul Ryan. Imagine if Angela Merkel were to honor the nazis. At the same time, to be honest, the Obama administration can't really lecture Abe on Human rights when they're the ones bombing people with drone strikes. I'd rather have a leader who visits war criminals than a leader who IS a war criminal. Same goes for Bush

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Don't believe it. There's no way on Earth that anybody has ever spent a whole sixty minutes trying to dissuade another person from doing something. Try and picture it....

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Even if Biden said "Don't go to Yasukuni", Abe would not listen to him and go there suddenly again without notice. He thinks visiting shrine is an internal/private matter, whatever reason it is. If Abe said Japan attacks Chinese military aircrafs/navy ships, Biden would strongly say "Don't do that". I really understand the US doesn't want be involved with the war. Best thing is the half of military bases on Okinawa leave Japan, then Abe would not go to Yasukuni any more.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Biden can suck my nasty bits! Folks feel to entitled to tell others what to do this day and age! You don't own Abe! Your not his parents, and he doesn't owe you a damn thing! For those few of you trying to rationalize, and inject a bit of logic into the mundane comment's, I would ask you to stop! Stop trying! China, and South K think they are owed something. As do those that sympathize with them. The simple truth is that they aren't going to get anything more than they have already been handed. Nor do they deserve it. Time to come off the titty, and do away with that welfare state of mind! Keep asking if ya want, but it's over! Period!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@The original Wing

But then comes the question.. .until when and what more should Japan keep on giving and apologizing? I am not denying what Japan had done in the past, is there is documented. Also, the technology assistance given to both countries (among many more) is at least in part a way to say sorry and apologizing to what Japan did to them, there is no denying there either.

Problem is, Japan also has apologized, by word and by actions. And China and S. Korea had accepted those apologies (and the money and the help). But then, after a while, they begun to ask for further apologies? further monetary compensation? Even asking to revise every thing from past beads.

How would you feel if you where in that position? Let's hypothetically say that some years ago you bullied a couple of kids, bullied them hard. But then, you get beaten to pulp by a couple big guys (and with reason), and you are asked to apologize to the kids you bullied them. Because of this, you understand that what you did was wrong. You apologized again to them and help them every way you could for them to recover from the damage you have caused them. They accept, openly your apologies. But then some years pass, and suddenly they begun to taunt you and say that you bullied them and hurt them and you should apologize and you should repay them what you took from them.

How would you feel about that?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Daniel Neagari The least they could do is solve this textbook revision issue and give the average Japanese real awareness of world war 2, not just paint imperial army as heroes that freed the Asian countries from European forces. Trust me, this one thing could make some major impact. It's been 40+ odd years to know what works and what doesn't. ONCE they fix this textbook problem, no one cares if you go to Yasukuni to pray for peace or not.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There are many history textbooks in Japan, from left to right. Skorea never mentions which textbooks and which parts of them is problematic. So, It's obvious SKorea has no interest in actually reading the textbooks, but just harassing Japan.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Kwatt: ummm... The difference between 1000 (more than 1000, actually) is quite a lot different than the 'less than 100' you tried to downplay the issue with. It's ten-fold the number. More importantly, it shows you do not know the facts and are content to downplay and undermine the reality.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@Vincehwr

I really don't know what kind of books you are referring to... given that I was educated in the Japanese system and as far as I remember, there was no mention of "japan freeing Asia from Europe".

In fact, In school I was thought that Japan Expansionism (and domination of surrounding countries) was in order to get hold of resources and to establish and teach the locals "Japanese Imperial Supremacy". That surely doesn't sound like a all-goody Empire does it? Yes in fact there were war heroes in Japan, specially for me was Admiral Isoroku YAMAMOTO but look what kind of person he was and what made it to do what he did.

Japanese are aware of the history, and even aware of the history that China and S. Korea promote. Yes the younger generations may not know that much (as the youth of many other countries). I don' t think that Japanese History is biased as China and S. Korea say.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@ Danial Neagari, Regarding your question about how many more apologies are necessary, how about just one more? But this time make sure it's not followed up by a visit to Yasukuni or some idiot high-level politician opening his big mouth downplaying their past "bullying" and questioning the necessity of any apologies. And to the people of Japan, stop voting for these idiot politicians. I'm aware that they don't vote for their prime minister, but they do vote for the other idiots.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@smith

I did not downplay the number at all. I just did know more correct number as I've heard someone said real war criminals are less than 100. that's all about it. I don't mind at all if war criminals are 1000, 2000. However 99 percent is still just soldiers and maybe 1 percent is war criminals. It seems to me that Abe just visits Yasukuni for souls of majority of these soldiers, surely not for criminals. You seem to be like a person who spends whole day to try to find out missing one penny you might have dropped off from your pocket in street. As for me I will never.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Mr. Burn

How is that going and praying in a Shrine is an offense? "there are war criminals buried in there " you will say. There are criminals buried everywhere.

You know that fear and offense that people take because going to the shrine.... c'mon is not like if Japanese go pray there magically the Great Japanese Empire with Super Robots and futuristic war machines are going to appear.

And to make a point.. is human nature to vote for the more visually and noisy person (many times they are the more inept). But, hey, that happens every where too, or the government of your country is entirely formed with incredibly bright, honest and smart people? Sad thing it is though.. to belong to a spices that in masses are morons....

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@ Daniel Neagari, The war criminals thing is only a symptom of the larger issue. The attached museum that portrays Japan as the savior of Asia rescuing it from western imperialism and implies that it was a victim in the war instead of an aggressor. It clearly has a revisionist ultra right wing agenda.

As far as the offense taken by the visits, no one believes anything magical will come from praying there. That's the point. The only reason to pray there is to make a political point. You can honor the dead anywhere, and there are other shrines that make that possible. Abe knew exactly what he was doing. To act surprised at the response and claim he was just going to pray is completely disingenuous.

Sad as it is, I agree with your final point though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How would you feel if you where in that position? Let's hypothetically say that some years ago you bullied a couple of kids, bullied them hard. But then, you get beaten to pulp by a couple big guys (and with reason), and you are asked to apologize to the kids you bullied them. Because of this, you understand that what you did was wrong. You apologized again to them and help them every way you could for them to recover from the damage you have caused them. They accept, openly your apologies. But then some years pass, and suddenly they begun to taunt you and say that you bullied them and hurt them and you should apologize and you should repay them what you took from them. How would you feel about that?

Well the question is whether after you apologized, you went around telling people "but actually, I didn't really bully them, they wanted it," while spending time on sites showing videos of people bullying, and commenting on those sites how bullying is awesome.

You can understand people wouldn't really take your apologies seriously.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

**Regarding your question about how many more apologies are necessary, how about just one more?

That 's how Japan has been deceived by your governments many times, "The last one more". No, you're not going to get any. Instead we've decided take another approach.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

kwatt: "I just did know more correct number as I've heard someone said real war criminals are less than 100."

Well, then you are proof of the problems with the education system here. Congrats.

" It seems to me that Abe just visits Yasukuni for souls of majority of these soldiers, surely not for criminals."

Like I said, wrong. He stated flat out that he will visit the shrine if China does not submit to his demands for talks. That is not going to worship the dead, it is going to spite one's neighbours. Sorry, kwatt, but you are 100% wrong on Abe's intentions here.

" You seem to be like a person who spends whole day to try to find out missing one penny you might have dropped off from your pocket in street. "

I really don't know what that means, but I will say it's probably the worst analogy I've ever heard on JT. So, congrats on that, too. You just need to admit it, Kwatt. Abe knew full well what he was doing politically by visiting the shrine. It was never to pray for the souls of the dead, but because he wanted to ante up the tensions in Asia and try and show he is 'strong' (despite the fact he's going to quit again soon due to the upset tummy!).

Daniel: "Japanese are aware of the history,"

No they are not -- at least, not until they grow up and travel abroad to find out the facts. Look at kwatt... she has absolutely no idea how many war criminals are buried at Yasukuni, but I bet she could give you detailed info on the atomic bombings. She's a product of revisionist history, same as many young people these days, and Abe wants to ensure they are more brain-dead than ever when it comes to Japan's atrocities or its part in current tensions.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Mr Abe's rejection of the good will advices from Mr Biden is giving stronger arguments for China and ROK to step up their attacks on Japan over world forum! Pretty not a wise move for Mr Abe!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Abe has been elected from Yamaguchi-ken in which majority of voters have ancestors and relatives enshrined in Yasukuni after the prefecture won Boshin Senso to topple Shogunate system. (creators of Meiji Ishin). He visits there for Yamaguchi-ken people. He speaks Southern California English. Biden and he communicated in English. Maybe next time if Biden learn basic standard Japanese, he might be able to pursuade Abe to make Japan 51st state of USA. Then Hilary supporting Dem people might suddenly support Biden, After all, USA failed to make middle east as American territory and costed too much. Cheaper to make Japan as its territory. Wait. Defence Dept might not like that. Japan pays 2.2 billion dollar plus to USA to keep US Military bases in Japan (Omoiyari) DD need these money. Biden needs better plan to convince Abe to make sure Japan becomes US territory.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

If Abe simply wanted to pray for the souls of war dead, he would pray at Chidorigafuchi cemetary. There are no war criminals interned there, and praying there would cause no issues amongst the neighbors. The fact that he chooses Yasukuni over Chidorigafuchi is proof that he is doing it for reasons that appeal to right-wingers (including himself). The right-wingers believe Japan was the victim of WWII, they feel that the war criminals are not truly criminals. So anyone who thinks he is not also praying for the souls of the war criminals is kidding themselves, or trying to play stupid.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yasukuni does not have dead body buried. It is not cemetary. Why he should go some kind of cemetary?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Biden seems to suggest that Japan shelf the sovereignty issue of the islands and sit and talk with Beijing to share the seabed resources a little bit to China's advantage and allow the Chinese Navy sail through between Okinawa and Miyako. Perhaps visiting the shrine is sort of magic to ward off a genius cajoler China's finesse. Abe does it with conviction even though he may know that his tenure of office is numbered.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Yasukuni does not have dead body buried. It is not cemetary. Why he should go some kind of cemetary?

To pray for the souls of the war dead.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Strangerland: Boshin-Senso dead Yamaguchi-ken people were not in your cemetary, Abe goes to Yasukuni for his prefecture people;s ancestors. He goes Yasukuni to satisfy his voters, not to pray souls of the war dead.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yes, I agree he goes for the right-wing voters. And that's what causes all these troubles.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Abe knew full well what he was doing politically by visiting the shrine. It was never to pray for the souls of the dead, but because he wanted to ante up the tensions in Asia and try and show he is 'strong' (despite the fact he's going to quit again soon due to the upset tummy!).

@smith

You're wrong! Abe can't be such a person who wants to increase dangerous tentions and show stronger leadership to China or S Korea to succeed in something. What you said is right. He is going to quit again when he fell in some kind of deep shit. He can't be a strong leader in the first place. He actually vsisted Yasukuni times before become a prime minister. He is simply going to pray for souls of soldiers as usual and maybe he thinks he has to go as leader. That's all about. You suspect Abe too much on visiting Yasukuni.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

strangerland: How you decided all yamaguchi-ken people are right wing voters???? Abe;s grandpa was almost assassinated by right wingers when he returned from USA after he asjed Ike to visdit Japan. It did not work but it was 1960. We Japanese who were in US Universities were adviced not to come back to Japan as we would be targetted. That is why I remember when, The year Asanuma, the head of Socialist Party was killed by then right wing, Where did you get data that all Yamaguchi-ken voters are right wing? How many Boshin Senso dead were in your cemetary? You did not know many areas in Japan cremate, (ka-so) but never do-so.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Toshiko

If he didn't want to cause troubles, he would not go. It's not like he didn't know the Chinese and Koreans would get all hysteric about the visit. But he is a right-winger, and he has to appease his right-wing voters, and so he goes.

Everything he has done since has only pointed to this being the truth. Now I'd like to think you are intelligent enough to see this yourself, but maybe you really do buy into the lies they are feeding you. But I'm not going to buy into those same lies myself.

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The Chinese government and the ROK government will just step up their attacks over Mr Abe's visit of Yasukuni shrine in the coming future. Whether they have a 'Good point' doesnt matter anyway! Because this is a power struggle not a public debate! They were struggling to shove Japan in a corner losing world's sympathy.The more stubborn of Abe's behaviour is the more attacks will coming! Blashing a country in the United Nation is a very serious matter. It seems they were winning this struggle and gained much momentum after his defying Biden's 1 hour friendly advice! This is what Mr Abe has failed to realize.

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The recent book by the former secretary of defense pointed out that Biden has been on the wrong side of every policy issue for 20 years when hindsight reveals the truth. So ignoring his advice is the smartest thing to do in any situation.

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@Strangeland: I think he wanted to cause trouble. Don't you think he has been instigating China and S. Korea? then he wanted to scrap Arti le 9? Didn;t you know he had been trying to abolish article 9 for many times in past? He failed but he is trying again, How do you expect his government increasing and upgrading weapon systems? He likes to be accused anything so that he can prepare for another attemp of Article 9 abolishment while people concentrate in Yasukuni accusation. Biden was fooled.

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I agree Toshiko

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Political games are sometimes mindboggling complicated, you just can't be sure what those leaders are thinking or doing ...? That is why America constantly reminds itself with "In God We Trust" printed on its currency.

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I'm confused. Japan’s prime minister decided to visit a shrine in Japan and people outside the country care? Every country has dead people, some with questionable histories. Paying respect towards the dead seems like a pretty common thing. Has Joe Biden never visited the Vietnam or Korean War memorials in Washington? Seems that both those counties might not appreciate those places too.

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kwatt: "You're wrong! Abe can't be such a person who wants to increase dangerous tentions and show stronger leadership to China or S Korea to succeed in something. What you said is right."

I'm confused. You say I'm wrong, but what I said was right?

"He actually vsisted Yasukuni times before become a prime minister. He is simply going to pray for souls of soldiers as usual and maybe he thinks he has to go as leader."

Wrong again, kwatt. As I said, and as Abe said more importantly, he will visit if China refuses to sit down on the Senkaku issue, which he claims is not an issue at all. China refused, so he went to visit. It was not to pray for the souls of the war dead, including the thousands of war criminals (which you thought were less than 100, I might add), but to try and look strong before the tummy ache kicks in again. But Abe is, after all, the grandson of a war criminal who somehow amazingly became a politician, so it's no real surprise.

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It was not amazing Kishi became politician, Gen. MacArthur wanted Kishi to make a new political party to squash Red scare in Japan. It worked and Japan is not a communist countr if you notice, Kishi received UN Peace Prize. Then his very younger brother Satoh became Prime Minister later. Satoh (Abe;s Grand Uncle) received NobelPeace Prize for his pushing anti atomic bomb agenda in the world. Abe's people are related to Kogoro Katsura, who organized Boshin War win, They are not blue blood like Hosokawa but they tend to succeed in many areas, especially, politics. They call Choshu danmashii,. Also Choshu families are usually Kakaa denka, females are family head. If you notice, unlike many Japanese men, Abe does not hate women. He even promote women in his government, /

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I'm very curious of the age groups in this discussion, but I'm speaking up to clarify some points. First to Strangerland, a cemetery is not where someone looking to offer prayers to the dead would go. For further reading look up Shinto, Kami, Shrine and Japanese burial traditions. To those of you still insisting that he only went to pray for the non war criminals, I also suggest reading about Kami and Shinto. The dead do not mourn the living. If you believe in the idea, they have already moved past such things. Philosophically or literally, take your pick. The point is whether those living chose this course of action for their own benefit. Press releases of high level talks don't happen unintentionally like this. Consider that Abe may have had many reasons for visiting and that Biden's all too public and useless statements were choreographed. Obama and Biden get to save face at home and with China and South Korea, Abe gets to continue his popular agenda and increase his standing by telling Biden publicly to shove it.. I'm really surprised none of you are seeing this scenario. It's an election year in both nations after all. Try to think as if you were playing chess.

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The visit to Yasukuni shrine is not PM Abe's biggest worry. The current account deficit and trade deficit are getting bigger and bigger with each month. Exports are declining to one of Japan's biggest export markets, China. Japan's national debt is already roughly 200% of its GDP. If the Japanese economy and balance of international payments do not improve, PM Abe will be looking for another job soon.

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"...Abe has defended his visit to Yasukuni as “natural” and said he had no intention of hurting the feelings of Chinese or Koreans..."

Abe agreed his visit to Yasukuni was offensive to the Chinese and Koreans, but said he had no intention of offending the Chinese or Koreans

There, it's fixed.

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"Biden finally gave up, saying he would leave the decision to the prime minister.."

As opposed to what, exactly, Biden? Sorry, but regardless of Abe's intent (honor, payback to supporters, etc), I want to know what Biden was thinking was his alternative? His final comment begs an answer to that. Wow, joe. You're doin a fine job there, ya know? Current US Foreign policy: Bring in the clowns.

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@Tinawatanabe

re Yasukuni. Many westerners don't have a problem with Yasukuni because they don't know much about it. I remember taking a relative there once. He naively thought that although Japanese attacked many countries and caused the death of millions, that Japan had realised it's error and that people had the right to remember the dead.

So he thought like many others that it would be a place of sombre reflection.

Except that when he got there he saw numerous military looking trucks with men shouting and playing war songs! Then he went through the museum and looked visibly shaken when he came out. He asked, "So they think THEY were the good guys and didn't do anything wrong?"

Anybody who goes to Yasukuni and goes through the museum realises it isn't a place that is against war at all, and shows no remorse for the sufferings of Koreans, Chinese, Americans, Australians, British, Indians, New Zealanders, Vietnamese - okay I could go on.

re apologies. There have been surprisingly few apologies. In my time alone, I've heard very few. But I hear war songs blaring from trucks every week, I hear politicians inferring that no apology was needed, I books and movies made showing the Japanese in ww2 as heroes, and again I could go on.

IF you actually spent some time studying what happened in WW2, and of course before that), I'm sure you'd change your opinion.

The most unfortunate thing is that most Japanese have never researched ww2. But the few that do? They all study right-wing revisionist literature in Japanese, so they have no idea.

It would be like Germans no knowing anything except books written by neo-nazis. Which is another irony. The last time I went to Yasukuni, there was information about how poor Germany was forced into the war. Atrocities? Concentration camps? The bombing of London? The holocaust? nothing. Absolutely nothing. Just that Japan's friend, was bullied and manipulated into the war.

People visiting Yasukuni from overseas who know ANYTHING about the suffering caused by the Nazis and Japan, are literally shocked.

If the uyokusha with their blaring war songs were banned, and the museum showed the mistreatment of prisoners, Unit 731, showed info about people killed, abused, raped, etc throughout Asia and the Pacific, most people would have no problem with Yasukuni.

As for Biden? You see him as a bully? Given that Japan attacked the US, fought till the end, caused the death and suffering of many Americans, but then America supported this country for 70 years, and still does - the fact that the Vice President could spend a whole hour not ordering but persuading the Japanese PM to not cause trouble with its neighbours and try to prevent another war should be source of embarrassment to Japanese.

I say, the US should pull out this year and let Abe and all the young weak men, and the ageing population try to fight off China and North Korea by themselves. Then you can go to Yasukuni everyday if you like.

One problem though is that South Korea would probably be in trouble too.

But look at this. China and North Korea are offended. But so is Japan's ally South Korea. And American and many other countries are also hoping Abe would do more to get on with the others in Asia.

So, you are like many. You think Japan is right, no matter HOW MANY countries think differently. China, South Korea, North Korea, Russia, the US - Japan thinks ALL of them are against her.

Just remember the last time Japan thought she alone was right. It didn't end well.

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toshiko: "He goes Yasukuni to satisfy his voters, not to pray souls of the war dead."

You couldn't have summed it up better if you tried. He doesn't go there to pray for the war dead, he does it to score points. So Bidden's request that he not go there is perfectly valid, and Abe's going there is nothing but immature, moronic politics, and you admit it. Good for you! As for the Yamaguchi prefecture people supporting him solely because that's where he's from or whatever, I say grow up. I'm tired of hearing about people supporting criminals and/or politicians (often criminals) because they are from the same home town. Hatoyama was an asbolute loon, but people from his home prefecture wanted him to stay in politics. The dude in Hokkaido who was actually incarcerated for crimes is back out and pushing politics because the people in Hokkaido like him because he's from there, etc. This bizarre sense of pride is one of the problems with politics today.

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smithinjapan I can.t sum up he doesn't go there because he went there..

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In Abe’s defense, indignant Abe defied Biden’s request was, in part, because Biden seemed not standing by Abe’s demand for putting pressure on China to rescind its ADIZ

That China put its ADIZ in place at all was due to Japans stubborn insistence there is no dispute over the Diaoyu islands. That argument doesn`t wash here. Time for Abe to return to what suits him best, obscurity

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Sankei reported yesterday. On his Asian trip last December, Biden told President Park that he thought Abe would not visit Yasukuni. And after he returned to the US, Biden telephoned Abe saying that he had told President Park that Abe would probably not visit the Yasukuni shrine, so that if Abe vows he would refrain from visiting the shrine, Ms Park would consent to meet him. Abe was more than upset because Biden did it over Abe's head. He replied he would decide for himself whether or not he would visit the shrine. And Abe went there as he had pledged all these years. It became clear in the testimony of several diplomats that Biden insisted the announcement of disappointment as the will of the White House. It just encouraged anti-Japan sentiments on a triumphant roll in China and South Korea. Biden seems to be a rather gratuitous politician. He might as well urge China to go to the ICJ.

http://sankei.jp.msn.com/politics/news/140130/plc14013008110003-n1.htm

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@Sebarinokaze: His ranking Hilary is very low. He is trying to show he is better than Hilary as next presidential election. He is using Abe and Yasukuni to demonstrate he knows how to handle Asia. But failed. His plan to convince Abe to make Japan as 51 th State did not work.

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His plan to convince Abe to make Japan as 51 th State did not work.

There are times I wonder whether Japan is in fact another state of the US in all but name

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@Graham DeShazo : in case if you watched baseball TV translations during history and geography lessons at your high school : Japan is not a 51 state of the USA and mr Abe is not a governor of that "state". So, your America has no rights to teach mr Abe or give him any sort of advices. Futher, the USA always considers allies as "servants", not partners. That is why nowadays more and more countries are rapidly loosing respect to your country and your leaders.

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I like how one CNN reporter summed it up. He said, "...Abe knew that going there (Yasukuni) would create problems with its neighbors but he doesn't care...". Pretty much my sentiments, glad to see an American reporter calling it like it is.

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