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2 cabinet ministers visit Yasukuni shrine

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Is anyone really surprised? Annoying to say the least....

1 ( +9 / -8 )

What DOESN'T anger China and South Korea?

-16 ( +12 / -28 )

What DOESN'T anger China and South Korea?

Facing up to history.

18 ( +24 / -6 )

They are only paying respect to the people who died in the war. My Japanese grandfather died in this war, I'm sure cabinet ministers have relatives who died in the war too. It's pretty similar to us going to Arlington every memorial day to pay respect for our loved ones that perished in our wars. No war is good. That said, my dad is buried at Arlington too.

-18 ( +9 / -27 )

Man....please don't compare Yasukuni to Arlington. Arlington is not Yasukuni.

Sorry, Japan: Yasukuni Is Not Arlington

http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/sorry-japan-yasukuni-not-arlington-9718

21 ( +29 / -8 )

All the J-gov has to do is remove the memorials for those war criminals and put them in a "special place" - like in a toilet bowl.

7 ( +13 / -6 )

Big news on JT, no news anywhere else. Move along, nothing to worry about here.

-4 ( +10 / -14 )

So she was wearing a blue dress?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Another "Yasukuni -- gotcha!" article. Ignoring the officials who go there would probably make more sense.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Big news on JT, no news anywhere else. Move along, nothing to worry about here.

A 20-second google search says differently. I counted a dozen languages reporting it around the world.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

'“I pledged efforts for building a peaceful country,” said the minister, known for her strident nationalistic views.'

Sorry, but you can't visit Yasukuni, be an ultra-nationalist, and claim your actions -- which are in part to provoke others -- are for 'peace'. Another moron doing damage to the Japanese name and to international relationships and claiming it's in the best interests of the nation.

CGBSpender: "Big news on JT, no news anywhere else. Move along, nothing to worry about here."

So why do you feel the need to come here and comment on this issue, more than once a day for that matter?

4 ( +13 / -9 )

No problem honoring the souls of the war dead, even at such a frequency that even these poor souls can’t keep up, but do it in your own, private capacity (she might have done just that by the way). Ok, the old fool dressed up as a Meiji era admiral might not recognize and salute you, but these souls will still get the message. Although these politicians might, but never mention it, so I assume they don’t, but why aren’t they also scolding the souls of the war criminals while at Yasukuni? After all, it was Tojo and his henchmen who led this country into an abyss of destruction and were the cause of most of these deaths. And maybe they can spare a thought about the countless millions of victims who died at the hands of Imperial Japan. Perhaps the monks over there can add the souls of these victims to the long list. Souls, apparently, can be in more than one place at the same time and the nice thing is, that apart from on paper, they don’t take up any space at all and it might take away some of the heat. They can lump them all together. All it seemingly takes is the stroke of a pen and some yen.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Sigh, Japan really is going backwards... Totally isolated from the rest of the developed world.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Facing up to history.

Huh, funny that. Seems China has a bad problem with this. May I quote former Premier Wen Jiabao?

Since the normalization of diplomatic ties between China and Japan, the Japanese Government and leaders have on many occasions stated their position on the historical issue, admitted that Japan had committed aggression and expressed deep remorse and apology to the victimized countries.

Interesting that China has wiped that from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Good thing that the Wayback Machine has it.

https://web.archive.org/web/20121020133343/http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/eng/wjdt/zyjh/t311544.htm

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

What DOESN'T anger China and South Korea?

Kittens. Lots of kittens.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Sorry, but again:

what would the world say if German Government officials honored NAZI-time criminals like Himmler, Hess or Eichmann at some memorial including all the millions that were killed during the war? Finger-pointing would be the least! But for Japan, this is obviously no problem. So, keep on destroying the relationship (if it ever existed) with other nations.

4 ( +13 / -9 )

Pandabelle: "Huh, funny that. Seems China has a bad problem with this. May I quote former Premier Wen Jiabao? "

So why do you take offense when it's pointed out that Japan is the new China? since you justify Japan failing to acknowledge history with examples of Chna doing the same?

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Yasukuni is NOT Arlington nor will it ever be it is a right wing show paid for by the nationalist nutters.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

maxjapankApr. 23, 2015 - 11:16AM JST

What DOESN'T anger China and South Korea?

Facing up to history.

but a heartfelt apology isn't facing up to history? did abe deny any part of history in his remarks at the Asia-Africa conference?

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

but a heartfelt apology isn't facing up to history?

The problem is, such a heartfelt apology from Japan doesn't exist. Yes, some few representatives have apologized and while I believe their intention was honest, this isn't the case any more for the current generation of Japanese (politicians). While Abe is still beating the bush, all his comments and all his actions show that for him an apology is nothing but a lip service to appease the neighbors. I can't say how Korean or Chinese people feel about it, but for me Abe's disingenuousness is even worse than no apology at all.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

I don’t think there will be (any impact). The visit was made in a personal capacity.”

Why do these mouthpieces continue to spout rhetoric like this? Anyone who is in government, especially a ministerial position, does not have a private life.

If this was true then any incidents that happen during their "off" time or when they are on personal time would never count. It's ludicrous to think otherwise.

What's worse is if any of the public actually believes this.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Pokes Chinese person in the eye

Typical Chinese, always complaining about having a sore eye.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Abe had asked his ministers not to visit before the talks happened

Yes, it's better to flip someone the bird after sitting down with them.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Haha, they cannot help themselves, can they?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Eriko Yamatani, a woman with "real" steel balls.

Another Maggie on the making, I hope.

I want to marry her, even if she's 116 now.

Japan should bring back its old aggressive ways, to deal with both China and the masses of malcontent foreign specimens found throughout their country.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

These ministers didn't just randomly go to this shrine (at this specific time), this was planned and approved by Abe. His motives are obvious, to continuously create an atmosphere to show the need for more growth of the military industrial complex and rationalize rewriting the constitution.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Saddest thing ever

Not even close, in the bigger picture of life this is not even a tiny splinter. It's just that there are people who try to magnify this into something more than it deserves.

You know if the media, on both sides of the issue, would ignore what they are doing they would eventually stop going.

It's BECAUSE the media pushes it that they push back, just like a couple of little kids fighting over some toy in the sandbox.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The shrine is for honouring men and women who give their lives for their Country. Not to use those given lives as a political statement. These two Politician have dishonour these given live for personal political gain. Maggots feed on the dead.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Yes, you're one of those, 'I feel the vulgar need to impress people with my lifestyle, hobbies, status etc' dickheads.

Moderator: Please stay off this thread.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You know if the media, on both sides of the issue, would ignore what they are doing they would eventually stop going.

Why would Japanese stop going to shrines just because the media ignores? People went Yasukuni shrine even before the media started covering decades ago. You know it's about 250 years old.

There are lots of other shrines in Japan, most of which are not covered by the media, but people still go there.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Good. Japanese Statesmen and Statewomen should visit cemeteries dedicated to the war dead. It is not o ly their compassionate spiritual right, but wise historically and in terms of a reminder. Our leaders visit Arlington. Paying respect, contemplation, and meditation to those lost in the igonrance, foolishness, arrogance, stupidity, wastefulness, pain, suffering, tragedy, and irreparable loss of war is a moving, humbling, enlightening, thoughtful, and growing experience. It doesn't matter that 1% of the bodies there once we're attached to the greatest spiritual victims of atrocious war campaigns, like the generals who prosecuted the wars under ancient cultural regulations that controlled their lives (the "war criminals"), for they paid with thier souls, conscience, consciousness, lives, reputation, and deaths; they couldn't change, and we can't change them or what happened -- but we could stop repeating their misteps By pausing near their graves, and by shamefully castigating with hatred those who have the character to do so. Lest we forget. Lest we forget. Shame and scorn upon us all, lest we forget and repeat their missteps.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Big news on JT, no news anywhere else. Move along, nothing to worry about here.

And tons of the same comments each time someone visits the shrine......

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I don’t think there will be (any impact). The visit was made in a personal capacity

Oh yes big impact. Now Japanese depressed women folks know Abe has two female ministers. More impact than when Ms, Masa Nakayama was appointed as a first female Minister by Hayato Ikeda in 1955

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

To those saying things like "Japan already apologized" and "isn't 1 apology enough? why should Japan keep on apologizing?".

I agree 100% with "one SINCERE apology is enough, and there is no need for continuous apologies", then it is simply a question if Japan has apologized SINCERELY.

When Abe and Japan's right wing OPENLY and OFFICIALLY denies the atrocity, then that fact that previous prime minister had apologized becomes irrelevant, as there is no SINCERE apology.

Take this example, i robbed your home and murdered your family, then i issued an apology; years later, i started saying that "oh no, i didn't actually rob your home and murder your family, it was all fabricated" or "while i did rob your home, i didn't murder ALL of your family members, just a few of them"; then why shouldn't the victims be outraged?

your "Japan had already apologized" is simply laughable.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Arlington is not Yasukuni.

OK. I'll bite. What's the difference? I understand that Arlington is treated as a national monument, and that it contains the graves of US soldiers who fought in Vietnam, where terrible atrocities were committed.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

There will be no solution unless Class A war criminals are worshipped separately or if another memorial facility is built. The secret enshrinement in 1978 of the souls of 14 Class A war criminals, including Matsui, commander of IJA forces in Nanking at the time of the 1937 massacre. But Yasukuni would not be a controversial issue today had the U.S, chosen to object. The shrine portrays Japan as a victim of Western imperialism and justifies Japanese military expansion on the Asian mainland as the liberation of Asians. This view is shared by many conservative nationalists, including to some degree by Abe himself. The question that needs to be asked is why Abe thinks that he can count on the U.S. to look the other way while he makes an official visit or offerings to such a facility. The sad part of Japan’s history problem is that average Japanese believes that the IJA's military expansion onto the Asian mainland was a mistake that it brought terrible misfortune to neighboring countries and that Japan has not done enough to express remorse.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

albaleo

OK. I'll bite. What's the difference? I understand that Arlington is treated as a national monument, and that it contains the graves of US soldiers who fought in Vietnam, where terrible atrocities were committed.

You don't need to bite, you need to do the most basic of research, or read a few posts on here, for the difference.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

you think China's bad, just wait til Japan has completely whitewashed WW2 and is back to being fully militarized

3 ( +4 / -1 )

You don't need to bite, you need to do the most basic of research, or read a few posts on here, for the difference.

I've done that, but I'm none the wiser. As far as I see, both places commemorate soldiers who died while serving their country in wars. That some are guilty of hideous crimes while probably most are poor souls like the rest of us doesn't surprise me. But I still don't see the big difference. Please spell it out for me.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I went there last week and found it rather quiet and soothing, as any graveyard is. Knowing that a few 'bad apples' were interred there didn't take away the feeling of sadness I felt at so many who lost their lives defending their country. C'mon people, get over it!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

albaleo Apr. 24, 2015 - 06:35AM JST I've done that, but I'm none the wiser. As far as I see, both places commemorate soldiers who died while serving their country in wars. That some are guilty of hideous crimes while probably most are poor souls like the rest of us doesn't surprise me. But I still don't see the big difference. Please spell it out for me.

The Koreans and Chinese are not making an issue over mourning for ordinary soldiers. Rather, they oppose mourning for the officers who lead the war. Both countries cannot condone visits by the PM or many of the J-goverment representatives. In 1978, Yasukuni enshrined the souls of 14 Class-A war criminals. It's a mistake for Japan to combine the mourning and display of respect for those who lost their lives in war with assessments of the war itself, or with the issue of leaders who have a responsibility for the war. You don't see German Chancellor or 100 of their goverment reps visiting Nazi grave. Why only in Japan and not in Germany? There is a need to have clear lines between soldiers who had no choice but to obey the orders handed to them by superiors and the responsibilities of military leaders, politicians and others who planned and carried out the war.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

John-SanAPR. 23, 2015 - 08:29PM JST The shrine is for honouring men and women who give their lives for their Country. Not to use those given lives as a political statement. These two Politician have dishonour these given live for personal political gain. Maggots feed on the dead.

Mm... it's more complicated than that. See, Yasukuni shrine contains and maintains and is thus responsible for the Yushukan war museum. So let's talk about that. And while we're at it, let's get albaleo in the conversation.

albaleoAPR. 24, 2015 - 06:35AM JST I've done that, but I'm none the wiser. As far as I see, both places commemorate soldiers who died while serving their country in wars. That some are guilty of hideous crimes while probably most are poor souls like the rest of us doesn't surprise me. But I still don't see the big difference. Please spell it out for me.

Yushukan presents a narrative of Japanese history where every single act of aggression by imperial Japan was something Japan was forced to do. Japan was forced to invade the rest of Asia, because the colonial powers of Europe were scary. Japan was forced to take over the governments of the areas they invaded, because the people there were too unruly and uneducated to rule themselves. Japan was forced to massacre Chinese people who didn't accede to Japanese rule, because they were bad rebels and the other Chinese people asked them to kill them. They were forced to attack Pearl Harbour because the US boycotted them. And finally, they were forced to suffer two atomic bombings because the world is unfair to Japanese people.

We can strip away issues of political affiliation and even morality, and still see that the message behind Yasukuni as expressed in the context of their own museum is deadly poisonous. That message is that no one in Japanese military history has ever made a mistake. At every step along the way according to Yasukuni via Yushukan, Japanese people could not possibly have made better choices throughout their history to peacefully coexist with their neighbors. According to Yasukuni via Yushukan, the world is racist against Japanese people and so everything Japanese people have suffered is someone else's fault.

Yasukuni isn't about people dying in service to their country. It's about people dying in service to the lie that you can never criticize the decisions of anyone who came before you, and thus you can never learn from them and you can never make better decisions. Those people enshrined at Yasukuni didn't die for Japan, they died to disempower future generations- Yasukuni's lie of the past is to make the present helpless and powerless. Japan should be rid of Yasukuni not because it offends Koreans, Chinese or Americans- they should be rid of it because its narrative is poisonous to themselves.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Really what Katsu said about Yashukan. The explanations in English and Japanese at the museum say different things.

Very importantly any soldier who was dishonorably discharged or found guilty of war crimes cannot be interred/ memorialized in Arlington. Japan, at Yasukuni, doesn't trouble itself with just niceties.

Nobody outside of Korea and China really minds Japan remembering those who died for their country. Build another memorial without all the right wing bollocks.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@katsu78 well said I cannot articulate my point as well as you but you are spot on!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The shrine is for honouring men and women who give their lives for their Country.

Let's not forget children too.

However this is not totally accurate, as JSDF members who died on duty are not eligible to be enshrined in Yasukuni.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Every country pays tribute to their fallen soldiers. Americans have Arlington cemetry, Russians have the Tomb of Unknown Soldier and annual military parade in Moscow. Why almost everyone from the USA, China and Korea dare critisize Japanese people for visiting Yasukuni Shrine? It is a national tradition after all. You must respect traditions of Japanese people. If you have no knowledges or basic culture to understand, please, do some research before writing critical statements.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

It is a national tradition after all. You must respect traditions of Japanese people. If you have no knowledges or basic culture to understand, please, do some research before writing critical statements.

It is most definitely NOT a national tradition that ALL Japanese visit Yasukuni Shrine, in fact the first government official, as in PM, visited there in 1975.

Sad to say this, but people who take one issue and expound it collectively to include everyone here is doing more harm than good. Telling people that they "must" respect something is asking for all sorts of trouble because it leaves no room for negotiating.

I suggest that you and others do some research about what ALL Japanese do or dont do regarding any given "hot" topic before writing in absolutes.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

yamashiAPR. 24, 2015 - 07:49AM JST Every country pays tribute to their fallen soldiers. Americans have Arlington cemetry… Why almost everyone from the USA, China and Korea dare critisize Japanese people for visiting Yasukuni Shrine?<

Because Arlington doesn't have a revisionist museum like Yushukan to lay an ulterior agenda over the experience. If you go to Arlington, you will never see an exhibit claiming Americans stole land from Native Americans because they wanted us to, or that slavery was England's fault, or that our massacre of innocents in Vietnam was forced upon us.

American recollection of our own history is by no means perfect, but generally we come through the education system aware of the wrongdoing in our history. We have learned to honor our ancestors without feeling we must pretend they did no wrong.

It is a national tradition after all. You must respect traditions of Japanese people. <

You're mistaken on both points. It is not a national tradition to misrepresent the past. It is only a tradition to a tiny minority of ultra-nationalists trying to live through their ancestors' glory because they don't know how to make meaning in their own lives.

Oh, and no, we don't have to respect any tradition that hurts the people who practice it.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

"It is only a tradition to a tiny minority of ultra-nationalists trying to live through their ancestors' glory because they don't know how to make meaning in their own lives." - comments

Brilliant, reminds one of another ultra-nationalists group.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It is a national tradition after all. You must respect traditions of Japanese people.

Meiji Govt did not include Boshin War dead samurais who were side of Shogun Forces. So northern Japanese people did not visit Yasukuni. current Yamaguchi ken won that war. So it is not national tradition. Yasukuni was created by Meiji Govt during Meiji Ishin. To enshrine soul of dead Bouchou samurais and soldiers whose lords sided BouChou.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is one of many reasons why Japans neighbors view their apologies as insincere and dishonest.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Smith

So why do you take offense when it's pointed out that Japan is the new China?

Because Japan ISN'T the new China. Not even close. The fact that we are even freely having this discussion is proof positive of that.

And did you read what I actually wrote, and what tons of people voted down? The Chinese government admitted - to ABE'S government, no less - that many heartfelt apologies have been made, and that China is (was?) grateful for them. That's a fact that the Chinese government seemingly wants you to forget.

Just like the current South Korean government would like you to forget that there were actual reparations made to South Korea.

But hey, keep beating that "Abe is the root of all evil" drum.

I welcome your thumbs down.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The visits by Eriko Yamatani and Haruko Arimura

The revisionists are not confined to the male gender alone then. They can say what they like: The people who are enshrined at Yasukuni did not fight for a peaceful country - they fought to help establish Japan's supremacy in Asia - in the name of the emperor. So saying that you're pledging your efforts for a "peaceful country", at a shrine (with a museum nearby) that glorifies Japan's military past - is rather ironic

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Christopher Glen: They can say what they like: The people who are enshrined at Yasukuni did not fight for a peaceful country - they fought to help establish Japan's supremacy in Asia - in the name of the emperor.

The same can be said about the US military "peace" missions during the past 30-40 years then. And so many people here telling me that Arlington is a very different thing? What is with the double standard?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The same can be said about the US military "peace" missions during the past 30-40 years then. And so many people here telling me that Arlington is a very different thing? What is with the double standard?

How many "Class A" war convicted war criminals are interred in Arlington? Oh and by the way there are no actual bodies enshrined at Yasukuni.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And so many people here telling me that Arlington is a very different thing? What is with the double standard?

There is the issue of the 14 war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni, and the names of Koreans conscripted into Japanese service. To this day the Japanese government refuses relatives' requests to remove their names. Does Arlington have the same issue? I very much doubt Arlington has a museum next to it, promoting a white-washed version of history. So on that note, Arlington and Yasukuni are very different.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Thanks to those who replied to my question about the difference between Arlington and Yasukuni. I accept there are differences, particularly the point about the narrative that is used at Yasukuni.

I didn't intend to defend Yaskuni with my question. I recently posted criticism of Yasukuni on another thread. I think there would be less criticism of Yasukuni if there were an alternative memorial in Japan to the Pacific War that remembers all who died in all countries. A more fitting place for politicians to visit.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I didn't intend to defend Yaskuni with my question. I recently posted criticism of Yasukuni on another thread. I think there would be less criticism of Yasukuni if there were an alternative memorial in Japan to the Pacific War that remembers all who died in all countries. A more fitting place for politicians to visit.

Personally I have been an advocate of a secular shrine, one that the Japanese government should fund, that is a memorial separate from Yasukuni, dedicated to all war dead, from all countries.

Similar to the memorial in Okinawa that has inscribed the names of all who died in the battle here, 200K plus, from ALL sides, Japanese, Okinawan, American, Korean and all others. It is a memorial and park dedicated to peace for all.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The timing of the visit by Eriko Yamatani and Haruko Arimura were wrong. Down right dirty politics by LDP. Slimy worms.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Maybe UN soon padlock it because no apologies and frequent visits to war shrine may upset some key members like China and lately even US.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@katsu78 "Because Arlington doesn't have a revisionist museum"

It doesn't matter. Japanese people follow national traditions and they need not use American Arlington as an example for Yasukuni Shrine. Note, that Yasukuni Shrine is much older than Arlington cemetry.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I visit this place with my Girlfriend who is Japanese. I waited out side while she honoured the dead Japanese who gave their lives for Emperor and Country. I total respect the war dead but I only honour my Countrymen fallen in war. The Majority of Japanese visit the shine for this sole reason to Honour the fallen. Not because some long lost Historical believe and not because they want to make a political statement.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I visit this place with my Girlfriend who is Japanese. I waited out side while she honoured the dead Japanese who gave their lives for Emperor and Country

Yes, that is true - to the extent that they gave their lives to expand Japan's overseas empire. You forgot to mention the 14 war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni though. By praying at the shrine, people are also honouring their memory. It becomes worse when a politician visits there officially.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

€Arlington is not Yasukuni

No.

Arlington is cemetery. Yasukuni is not cemetery..

Tojo, etc were in family cemetery. Only souls in Yasukuni by /govt.

Abe's one of ancestors Takayoshi Kido organized BouChou to defend entire Yamaguchi-ken(Suou & Nagato) to defend from Shougun forces. (Boshin War) The result was Shogun side lost and bunch of Yamaguchi-ken people have ancestors enshrined to Yasukuni. (souls ) His granduncle's father in law was enshrined after 14 A class.

Also many families whose pets were drafted neshrined their pet names.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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