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Cabinet minister visits Yasukuni shrine

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"Off-season" visit to Yasukuni is unlikely to draw any critisism from neighbors.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Controversy aside, Yasukuni remains a place where visitors can see a part of Japan's military history that has been tucked away since the Instrument of Surrender ending the war in the Pacific was signed aboard the USS Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Just ignore it. People going to a shrine in another country doesn't hurt anyone.

-2 ( +9 / -12 )

CrazyJoeAPR. 12, 2014 - 04:50PM JST Controversy aside, Yasukuni remains a place where visitors can see a part of Japan's military history that has been tucked away since the Instrument of Surrender ending the war in the Pacific was signed aboard the USS Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945.

Absolutely, if your up to stomaching a right-wind version of events that paints Japan as the saviours of Asia and the victims of the west. Nice zero fighter though.

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Japan, China and Korea will never agree on what Yasukuni actually represents.

But increasingly, it appears as though any visit to Yasukuni is an akin to an own goal by Japan.

I totally understand Japan's POV on this issue, that Yasukuni honours all war dead and does not focus on WW2 where Japan was the aggressor. I think if I was Japanese I would 100% take this stance.

But China and Korea seem to have managed to convince the world that Yasukuni is evil. And as a result, Japan will not win any friends by continuing to visit it . It's a lost cause.

I do wonder why J-politicians shun the Chidorigafuchi. Surely the spirits lying there feel a little ignored and upstaged by their more controversial neighbour..

-3 ( +10 / -12 )

in a move likely to cause anger in China and South Korea

Get over yourselves you tossers. Or if you must be angry go to your bedroom and do it and come back down when you can act in a more adult manner.

-10 ( +4 / -15 )

Yasukuni is condemned all over the world. The only people who are supportive of yasukuni are the right wingers.

7 ( +18 / -10 )

Just another "provocative" move by the Japanese Gvt.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

More respects paid to war criminals.

The only cabinet Shindo should be minister of is in his kitchen, holding his dinnerware.

4 ( +9 / -4 )

Shindo, a regular visitor to the shrine, insisted that it was a “private matter”, playing down the potential for diplomatic fallout from a visit by a member of the government.

A private matter but the press was there and he felt the need to speak to them? Private my behind. Plenty of other places to go and pay your respects to those who lost their lives...

8 ( +12 / -4 )

If it is a private matter then why is he wearing formal attire?

2 ( +8 / -6 )

Let them visit this place. They lost in their evil pursuit. We shall celebrate the success of American atomic bombing to end the imperial Japan once and for all, every year. God bless the pilots of those bombers.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Yasukuni is condemned all over the world.

All the world doesn't care about Yasukuni... I haven't seen anyone in Europe discussing it even once in my entire lifetime.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

"including several high-level officials executed for war crimes after World War II."

Well, those high-level officials suffered the ultimate punishment, didn't they?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This will end when news agency stop posting those visits

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Mitch Cohen, that makes perfect sense unless you have actually been to Yasukuni Shrine and seen what it truly represents. I've been there and it is an unashamed right-wing rallying point with a so-called museum that glorifies Japan's military past and asserts Japan was the victim of a war of aggression. Any politician going there is going there for a reason, and that reason is a political one. Shindo is an extreme nationalist. His grandfather was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army, just for the record.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Shindo looks like a nasty overweight old grub with bad hair-dye. If there is any negative reaction to this official visit then it is fully deserved.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

As a politician, you know EXACTLY what you're doing and how this will be received. When you visit Yasukuni as a Japanese politician you're making a conscious statement.

Just own up to it.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I think the Right wing politicians are all sitting in a boardroom and playing janken. Loser has to say or do something "Right-wingy."

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Sorry, but when you are a politician of such rank and visit the shrine KNOWING the ripples it will cause (and I bet you any money he signed in under his title, and given he did it in the day time he was on the company dime!) is just a sign of disrespect and a clear message that he wants no ties mended with the nations Japan committed atrocities on before and during WWII.

I guess the rising yen and slipping of Abenomics must be taking a toll if they need to do this kind of thing to shift focus.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Maybe Shindo is giving New Komei-to a message. "We LDP don;t want to have Buddhist only Party or people to be with us in any of our agenda and cause even our party officially negotiate with you Buddhist Party."

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I agree with hampton, I've also been to the shrine.

On the first impression, its tranquil and serene. Yet very solemn and stoic from its appearance. I was quite impressed and moved by the architecture.

Then when you get inside the museum, its like a 180 flip smack you in the face of what the hell just happened here. I knew it was a shrine dedicated to the military but it shouldn't have an inconspicuous and frankly gloating feel to its military history. I can respect honor, integrity and pride but the way they displayed and downright twisted the facts or simply uses adjectives such as "alleged" or "disputed" in front of the indisputable incidents are just plain shameful.

I suggest the people who are in doubt of this and is living or visiting Japan do pay a visit even if you disagree with what it represents. You will then get a clear representation of what it is. On the surface, a tranquil symbol that serenade to the dead, but look a little further, a dark and twisted representation that simply should not be glorified or even displayed.

Japan has a lot of great people, creation, idea and customs but this place and the idea of respecting what this place displays ain't one of them.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

The Yasukuni is an evil cult whose central belief is fascism and holy war. It goes like this:

-The Japanese Emperor, as descendant of the Sun Goddess, the ruler of the Heavens is regarded as the living god of the Yasukuni much like what Jesus Christ is for the Christians.

-Being direct descendants of the 'eight hundred myriad' gods, the highest beings in the cosmos, the Japanese race is far more superior than all other races on the earth.

-Being the master race on earth, the Japanese are entrusted with the mandate from the gods to rule all inhabitants of the world who are not their equal. And anyone who dares to get in the way of the Japanese conquest must be completely destroyed.

-When the Japanese die in fulfilling the will of the gods, they are promoted to the rank of higher gods, or kami and become the patron gods of the Japanese race (Yasukuni gods).

Currently, around 2.5 million Japanese who died mainly in WWII have been promoted to the rank of Yasukuni gods.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

So after Obama was finally able to get Abe and Park to face each other and talk a little bit on the summit sidelines only 2 weeks ago this bad hair Shindo character comes out and sets even that tiny step towards normalizing Japan Korea relationship back. Right on the heels of the Glendale comfort women statue PR fiasco. These guys just don't want to learn.

Standby for J - govt call for talks with Korea by about next week and when ignored, expressions of " how regrettable " it is that Korea doesn't want to sit down and talk again.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Where I come from politicians go to cemeteries only when they need to bury someone. That is. I am also go when somebody dies. I never go back for any other reason. For the dead are just that, dead. They know nothing, they feel nothing, and they are conscious of nothing.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

All it is is provocative. They know that. Yet they go anyway.

Disgraceful.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

toshiko: ""We LDP don;t want to have Buddhist only Party or people to be with us in any of our agenda and cause even our party officially negotiate with you Buddhist Party."

here's the problem, Toshiko: you probably voted DPJ when Hatoyama said he would turn things around, then probably voted LDP again after the nuclear crisis -- or maybe you didn't vote at all given the rate of apathy in terms of Japanese voting. When it comes to the Komeito Party, though, the people remain consistent not only in their voting but in their beliefs. Are you seriously offended that they are against offending others? That they want suffrage for permanent residents? that they want to actually improve ties instead of hurting them?

Only a total moron would call these bad things.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

This kind of thing is so childish from the Japanese politicians. Even Abe's visit was a blatant attempt to glorify Japanese totalitarianism. The fact that he does not and has not visited the shrine regularly and only visits it to 'P' off Japan's neighbors just shows how pathetic these little school yard bullies really are. Now, this bunch of right-wing cronies visit the shrine just to continue the bullying! Of course, China and Korea are blowing it out of proportion, but the actions of these Jap pollies are only an attempt to stir up trouble. It really is a pathetic attempt at bullying by the Japanese! If these jijis manage to 'P' off China to an extent of military action there will be 500 million Chinese solders marching through Japan within a week. They will swat this little island like a fly regardless of US backing. It would be over before with Japan or the US could do anything about it.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

In my opinion Every time a Japanese politician visits this shrine it is not to pay respect to those who fought in wars it is for his own political career aspirations. Its selfish and nothing but a political move for that politician to make a statement about something he is going to do to gain attention. Im looking forward to find out what his next move would be now that he has done this.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Uh-oh, let the riots begin

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Visits like these should wait til after a Japan-China-South Korea summit. Let Japan explain its position, get understanding from both countries and then you'll be able to go as often as you like.

Problem is, Japan cannot resolve problems with both of these countries even if it wanted to. No, not because of Abe's Yasukuni visit, but because it is in China's best interest to have an "aggressive, militaristic Japan" for the domestic audience and South Korea is STILL reeling from the humiliation of being colonized.

Japan can make apologies all it wants, not visit Yasukuni, etc, but these two nations will still have issues. Its unavoidable.

That being said, politicians should not visit Yasukuni right now. Its just not the proper time to do this.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

People should just let it go because Japan will never listen. I think they will go any length to defend that tradition. If history's any indication, Japan has a very hard time giving up on something the end result had to be drastic like involving the international court. especially when it comes to historical culture, Japan will be even more aggressive. This issue feels so futile, more so when the stance of Japan's leader is right-wing nationalist.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Of all the shrine with media, he visited the Yasukuni shrine. Not that I care about South Korea or China because I hate both of them, but this shrine is like a place for people to see and respect the evilness or the madness during World War II. Thailand should have one honoring the murderer and corruptive government who used deadly force to kill over 100 civilians back in 2010 because nowadays a lot of people seem to praise this kind of government.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

I don't agree with the statement that Yasukuni is condemned all over the world- simply because most of the world is not aware of existence. It is irrelevant to most of the world. However, most of the world does generally have a negative view of Japan's role in WWII without a doubt. And no amount of thumbs down votes is going to change that simple fact. Thats just reality...Like it or lump it.

When greatness is perceived as a birthright that is exclusive to being a member of a given nationality, then it stands to reason that that greatness is by no means universally accepted or celebrated. That is irrefutable logic.. Its lonely at the top when your a legnd in your own mind.

But equally true is the fact that Japan's post war economic miracle garnered much respect throughout the world too. However, that perception is in danger of being reversed by those who would like to drag Japan backwards to its 'Imperial Glory days'.

No doubt some will say this is a Sino-Korean apologist perspective, but not at all. Japanese right winged politicians are perfectly capable of making themselves look bad all by themselves.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"Not again......"?

I think those two words would sum it up, regardless of which end of the opinion that you subscribe to?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yasukuni is condemned all over the world. All the world doesn't care about Yasukuni... I haven't seen anyone in Europe discussing it even once in my entire lifetime.

Europeans don't understand Shinto. If they understood that enshrinement equals "canonization" as saints - men who become divine "kami" for their actions and are worshipped as gods - then you'd hear protests.

Imagine if Angela Merkel went to a church that worshipped dead Nazi soldiers as gods. It's the same thing.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@smithinjapan: Komeito was created at Daisaku Ikeda time, Ikeda succeeded Josei Toda. Sohka Gakkai. They are believers of Nichiren Daishonin who believed in Nichiren Shohshu, They oppose Shinto, such as Yasukuni Shrine. Have you met Josei Toda and Daisaku Ikeda? They were more charismatic than Hatoyama family members. Shinshu, Shingonshu and other Buddhism are not with Shinto, either, Many Japanese families have both religeons but not Nichiren Shoshu. That is why I alledged Shindo's thinking. By going to Yasukuni Shrine, he is showing his LDP is not welcoming Komeito members. So, you did not know Komeito is against Shinto.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Abe is widely expected to refrain from visiting the shrine during the upcoming spring festival ahead of a summit with US President Barack Obama on April 24 in Tokyo....... Well if that's not a master class in understatement, then Yoshitaka Shindo insisting that it was a “private matter” surely is. Presumably it's just coincidental that most if not all the government press corps happened to be visiting the Yasukuni shrine at the same time. Instinctively the former has something to do with the later, a pointed reminder that Barack Obama better be paying attention.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But China and Korea seem to have managed to convince the world that Yasukuni is evil. And as a result, Japan will not win any friends by continuing to visit it . It's a lost cause.

Just them, still. Still don't know why Korea makes an issue since they fought alongside Japan. They even had their military attaché pay respects as late as 2002. Move onto something else Korea like textbooks on Takeshima and Japan's Naval Ensighn.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

If it's a private matter, why is he with staff instead of his family?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It is none of other people's business. It is his religious right. Some people have an illusion that if none of Japanese did not go to Yasukuni, China an Korea would behave better. I do not think so. They would make a noise any way even if no one would go there.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Cabinet minister visits Yasukuni shrine

He can do whatever he wants to do, he is a citizen of Japan and has the right to pay his respects to those that died in the service of his nation.

The same goes for all those that want to enter Mao's tomb and pay their respects to that mass murderer.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

He can do whatever he wants to do, he is a citizen of Japan and has the right to pay his respects to those that died in the service of his nation.

Except that he is some sort of a representative of the Japanese citizens.

And people in other nations also have the right to complain, it goes both ways. They will stop dealing with Japan if they continue to act in this way. So how will this benefit Japan? It doesn't. These rightists are sellouts, selling out Japan and making it worse. They are the ultimate anti Japanese, hell bent on destroying Japan, like they did during the war.

And I love how the ignorant right wingers who have no idea how the world thinks, still fool them into thinking that "it's just Korea and China that are complaining". I'm sorry? Which world leader supports the Yasukuni? Wasn't it the US that said that it was disappointed?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

It is none of other people's business.

It doesn't matter whether you or anyone thinks it's anyone else's business or not. The fact is that once he goes, it's public knowledge, and once it's public knowledge, people will make it their business. It's like a celebrity who doesn't want their picture taken while they are out in public. Maybe they are right, maybe they should be able to go out in public without their picture being taken, but said celebrity would have to be an absolute moron to actually think they could go out in public without their picture being taken. Maybe the visit to Yasukuni should be a private matter, but Shindo would have to be dumb as a bag of rocks to think it actually will be.

Now that said, the likelihood that he wanted it to be a private matter is somewhere between zero and nil. If it were a private matter, the right-wingers wouldn't know that he had visited the shrine, and he wouldn't get the benefit of right-wing support for having made the visit.

You can't have it both ways. Either he gets no recognition of his visit at all, in which case China/Korea couldn't whine, and the right-wingers wouldn't know, or he gets recognition of the visit, and with that right-wing support and China/Korea criticism.

1 ( +4 / -4 )

toshiko: "So, you did not know Komeito is against Shinto."

Komeito is against the kind of aggression that visiting Yasukuni shrine represents. Who got suffrage for third generation locals in certain areas of Japan? Komeito. Who had good relations with China? Komeito party members. So you see, it's not a difference of religion so much as it is a difference in attitude towards neighbours.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Even though I detest how the South Korean and Chinese government are ALWAYS using the war of seventy years ago to divert attention from themselves and that the public does not even realize it is being used for their politicians7 personal political gains, it still irritates me to see J-Gov politicians visiting this place. Not that I don't think that it should not be visited, but if it makes your neighbors angry, then it is something that should stop. Especially if you go around saying that you want peace in the regian.

What purpose does it serve Japan? Answer: None! It only benefits the politician.

It is just an appeal to the right wing base to support them. It is simply politicians like this one thumbing their noses at South Koreans and the Chinese in order to show the public that they will stand up to the neighbors and for continued right wing support. If politicians like this really cared about Japan, they would know that it does not help the country at all and stop. They know full well that people are going to scream, “FOUL”, but they do it anyway. Are they expecting their neighbors to finally understand what the shrine is about? Well, that is not ever going to happen.

Politicians need to ask themselves this one question: Is this going to benefit my country or not?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I detest how the South Korean and Chinese government are ALWAYS using the war of seventy years ago to divert attention from themselves and that the public does not even realize it is being used for their politicians7 personal political gains

How do you know the public doesn't realize this? I've been to China a number of times, and I've had Chinese people directly express dislike of their government and its policies to me. They know their politicians are corrupt, and that there are major problems in the country (though it should be mentioned they are also usually very proud of their country, in particular it's recent advances).

Don't take the right-wingers in China who make the most noise as being representative of the Chinese people at large. Same as the loud right-wingers in Japan should not be taken as being representative of the Japanese populace at large. Being loudest doesn't mean being most agreed with.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Very good points there Strangerland! I agree with you that we should not think that everyone thinks that way. A lot of it is the newspapers and politician being so obnoxious.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Thomas AndersonApr. 13, 2014 - 09:24AM JST Except that he is some sort of a representative of the Japanese citizens.

And where is your outrage when the Communist Party of China celebrates Mao's birth, if you didn't attend last year it happens every Dec 26th and all the big wigs go there bowing before their godly mass murderer.

During the reign of the madman know as Mao Zedong between 40 to 70 million of his own people were slaughtered. But, before he had his chance at murdering that many he had the blood of nearly 15 million on his hands because of his civil war.

Where is the outrage?

Easy answer, the far left turns a blind eye to that slaughter because Mao is one of their heroes.

But, if a single Japanese politician goes to pay his respects and the far left here loses it's head.

Gents, that is the mother of all Hypocrisies!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Not really the same is it. Mao killed a bunch of his own people. If those people want to celebrate he who hurt them, that's their own choice, messed up though it may be. Yasukuni is a place of worship for those who killed others. The people who are a member of the group that killed others show a lack of respect for those others who were killed.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

JoeBigs

And where is your outrage when the Communist Party of China celebrates Mao's birth, if you didn't attend last year it happens every Dec 26th and all the big wigs go there bowing before their godly mass murderer.

I don't care about Mao, and China is still pretty much a one-party dictatorship, so revering Mao is pretty much propaganda.

Oh and guess who helped establish the Communist party in China? Japan.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

I had been wondering why Shindo suddenly visited Yasukuni alone. So, I checked Shindo in Wikipedia to see who his family is enshrined in Yasukuni, Gosh I found, His grandpa was General Kuribayashi whose body was never found. That means his Grandfather;s soul was enshrined in Yasukuni. Then I found the General was sent to defend Japan at Iwo Jima. Then I remembered I watched Clint Eastwood directed and co-produced historic films a few years ago. The name was Letters From Iwojima. So, I checked Wikipedia. in English and Japanese. I read and read and so now I began thinking he probably went to report what he will achieve in Japanese politics to his Grand Father. Read the Letter From Iwojima in Wikipedia.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The yasukuni shrine is discriminatory towards anyone who is not a Shintoist, which goes for the majority of the Japanese. That's part of the reason why yasukuni is inappropriate as a memorial site.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The yasukuni shrine is discriminatory towards anyone who is not a Shintoist, which goes for the majority of the Japanese.

Really now. Care to back that up?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@strangerland: There are names of drafted horses and dogs enshrined there. According to Thomas Anderson, these dogs and horses along other animals believed Shinot??? Horses Gunba, Dogs Gunken.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yasukuni is a popular tourist destination. You can see many tour buses park there. Many foreigners and the young too. You can enjoy beautiful sakura there. Very crowded on New Year Day.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

It's clear ABE's people are doing this to purposely to keep the right wing base happy since ABE himself is restricted to do go. This happens right after ABE reached out to Korea for a summit between the two Countries and just when it seemed like ABE was acting rationally he strikes back with his puzzling ways once again. At the end of the day Mr ABE and his cronies are die hard Imperial Nationalists who's words are impossible to trust from perspective of Korea and China.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I am sick to death of other nations endlessly interferring with Japan's honouring of traddition. It is NO ONE's business what they do with their own country and their own history. Their history belongs to them, just as China and Korea's history belongs to them. No one attacks China for honouring the memory of some of the monsters like Mao who were responsible for millions of deaths in their own countries....and for Korea's past military attacks on others. The past is the past, and is no reason to try to control or attack Japan today. It is as deep part of their culture to honour the dead and to venerate their sacrifices. Japan embarked on a serious effort to expand on the world stage just as did Britian, France, Germany, Russia and Spain over and over and over yet only Japan gets attacked now, in another show of quiet racism and elitist focus. They like others made mistakes and there were excesses for which they have unlike other nations appologized. I have not heard Germany or the US or Britian applogizing for the terrible attacks they made on each other's cities and civilians or the attacks savage beyond belief that they made on Japan's cities during the war. Let us set the past aside, allow all to honour their lost as they wish and live in the present. China and Korea should mind their own business.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

CrisGerSan Apr. 15, 2014 - 04:15AM JST I am sick to death of other nations endlessly interferring with Japan's honouring of traddition. It is NO ONE's business what they do with their own country and their own history. Their history belongs to them, just as China and Korea's history belongs to them.

What this shows is just how little Japan has changed over the last 70 years. You don't see U.S. running around and pretending Hiroshima and Nagasaki never happened do you? Japan has never come to grips with its actions and has deliberately refused to face them. Germany, at least, went through such self examination after WWII, and indeed, repentance, that its Nazi past, though not erased, no longer strongly stains the nation of today. Indeed, Germans today have understood their special, historical obligation to face their past honestly. Japan is responsible for at least as many deaths as the Nazis. It's many years of atrocities: concentration camps, its bio-war experiments on Chinese civilians, its deliberate programs of starvation and murder of prisoners, the rapacious killings of conquered cities and their peoples. This and more all swept under the Japan's nationalist rug without even the barest pretense of acknowledgement that they ever occurred.

The basic Japanese attitude towards the war seems to be, “Ok, we are super-peace-loving and were reluctantly forced into war, but only because the U.S. bullied us, and we had really good intentions for the rest of Asia. A few bad things happened, but that’s what happens in war, and did you know that Japan suffered a lot, too and even got nuked, and Japan's attitude is that "we are victims too". We’re sorry we fought the war, but anyway most of those atrocities probably didn’t happen or were exaggerated anyway so were not really all that sorry.” Following the lead from their political masters, Japan's education bureaucrats began to censor history books for schoolchildren to prevent them learning the truth about Japan's military aggression between 1931 to 1945, and the many horrifying atrocities that were committed by Japanese during the course of that military aggression.

If Japanese school children are told anything at all about the Pacific War, it is usually in a false context where the U.S,, Britain and the Netherlands are dishonestly accused of "forcing" Japan to wage a defensive war to obtain supplies of oil and rubber. The schoolchildren are not told in official history textbooks that oil and rubber were withheld from Japan in an effort to persuade Japan to halt its brutal and unprovoked war against China. The children are not permitted to learn in their history books about the slaughter of millions of prisoners of war and captive civilians by the Japanese military. In addition to the hundreds of thousands of captive foreign women who were forced to become sexual slaves in Japanese Army brothels across East Asia and the Pacific region. At times the falsifications and distortions of history in Japanese school textbooks have become sufficiently outrageous to produce a storm of international protest. In 1982, on the 50th anniversary of Japan's forcible seizure and annexation of China's Manchurian region, the Ministry of Education ordered amendments to school history books in reference to Class-A war criminals interred at the shrine

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I think Minister Shindo went to Yasukuni to pray for his Grandfather who was sent to Iwojima by Tojo, I don;t think he went to pray for Tojo and other A class War criminals who were hang.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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