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Defense minister visits Yasukuni shrine one day after returning from Pearl Harbor

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"Don't worry lads, I didn't mean anything I said. I had my fingers crossed behind my back"

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Either there is no party or diplomatic discipline or people like Inada just cannot see how this looks. Waiting a few weeks would not have mattered much unless she is faced with a constituency of froth-mouthed nationalists baying for her to atone for something they imagine. In which case we should know that too.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Precisely why the whole Pearl Harbor visit was a scam. The woman feels guilty about it so has to go and pray apologies to the war criminals at Yasukuni.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

On his way back Abe should visit Nanjing

9 ( +16 / -7 )

I guess those angry Yasukuni gods had to be placated.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

sf2k: "On his way back Abe should visit Nanjing"

If he did that I would give the man credit, truly. But what's more likely is that he'll continue to deny any atrocity there exist, insist it is mere propaganda, and while he's unlikely to visit Yasukuni you can bet there is a "donation" in the works since he is likely racked with guilt and needs to appeal more to the ultra-right.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

No surprise here... It's exactly what you would expect from someone who's affiliated to Nippon Kaigi. That's also why I was not surprised about Imamura going there (yet another member of that group; although he seems to be on a different level...)

7 ( +11 / -4 )

does the pride and dignity of criminals should override that of ordinary man? yasukuni is a puzzle very intricate and may not be untangled but with the use of reason.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Confucius: "No surprise here... It's exactly what you would expect from someone who's affiliated to Nippon Kaigi"

Exactly! and why her visit to Pearl Harbor cannot be viewed as anything but a political stunt.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

MoonrakerDEC. 29, 2016 - 10:45AM JST Either there is no party or diplomatic discipline or people like Inada just cannot see how this looks.

Alternatively, they don't care. From the article:

Defense ministry officials could not be reached for immediate comment.

This is not the behavior of people who care how their actions look.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Classic 'honne' and 'tatemae'. No-one should be surprised.

'T' at Pearl Harbour, and 'H' back home.

Have to placate the Nippon Kaigi and the Uyoku Dantai (Right Wing Brigades) after embarrassing them overseas.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

What will the younger generations believe about Abe and Obama governments, watching such cynicism? Won't they believe that the Pearl Harbor reconciliation ceremony and Inada's visit to the Yasukuni shrine were just a pretext, a theatre, and finally an insult to the victims of WW2, a war caused by Japanese nationalists?

6 ( +10 / -4 )

After Nanjing, Abe should visit that sitting statue in South Korea.

Then do Hawaii, Nanjing, Seoul every single year

Then the next PM, and the next and the next...

Do it so you remember that war is bad. Don't stop until war ends everywhere.

"It’s a hell of a thing, killin’ a man. You take away everything he’s got, and all he’s ever gonna have.” -- Unforgiven

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Oh my where do these idiots come from!! OK now lets see if abe is sincere & when he gets back to Japan IF he publically rakes this guy over the coals & then FIRES him, if not........... well then you know same ole insincerity is in play.

Above is what I wrote when Imamura went to yasukuni & now the defense minister goes..........inada!! As I have been saying for years here EVERY single slight step forward doing a little good, then the fools rush to yasukuni putting japan back once AGAIN!!

Pearl Harbor is a PERFECT example of Japan utter insincerity!!!

I will take this back if abe returns & FIRE these 2, if not they stand.

Come on abe prove me WRONG for once I beg you!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Yasukuni Shrine isn't all that different from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, is it?

-12 ( +6 / -18 )

"Please forgive me for sucking up to those American infidels!"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yasukuni Shrine isn't all that different from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, is it?

Very different. Convicted war criminals cannot be buried there. There is also the religion issue with regards to Yasukuni

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Are we surprised?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Well doesn't that just take the biscuit. The Sarah Palin of Japan. Any response by Abe other than firing her will definitely be Inada-quate. (If not for black humour there's be no humour these days).

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What the heck is this fuss all about?

As I said somewhere else, even GW Bush made an offer to visit Yasukuni. Russian President Yeltsin actually visited Yasukuni.

So US and Russia bascially has no problem

Reconciliation Abe quoted was about between Japan and US for the time being wasn't it?

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Maybe as a move to ease her pain from the trip to Pearl Harbor! Maybe it was just too painful for her to honour American war dead, that she needed to ease the pain a bit by honouring her countrys war dead just one day after her visit! How disgraceful! She needs to understand that her tribute at the memorial centre at Pearl Harbour doesnt disappear after just one day!! She simply needed to withstand american influence with Japanese influence and patriotism by paying a visit to the Yasukuni Shrine!!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I hope government officials who wish to visit Yasukuni Shrine will continue to do so. Whether they visit because of historical reasons, religious reasons or are simply carrying out a custom is irrelevant and none of my business. Shame on ROK for complaining. Again. You'd think they would have enough of their own disgrace to tend to. But no, never to busy to complain about the mundane actions of people living in other sovereign nations.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Impeccable timing as always.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The Japanese are masters at backpedaling. One step forward, another step back. This always gets them in hot water at the end of the day.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

She is practicing goma suri!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

How would the people of Japan felt if Obama or his secretary of defense had visited the Enola Gay one day after he paid respects at Hiroshima? This is shameful. I was very much hoping this Yasukuni visit immediately after the Pearl Harbor visit would not happen, but had a feeling it would. Par for the course, unfortunately.

This visit, clearly sanctioned by Abe, is a two-faced move. Essentially in Hawaii he is telling the world that he expresses his condolences for Japan's role in the war, but then is sending the opposite message to his nationalist cronies back home. We're sorry, but we're not.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

It's not very difficult to imagine that she did it on both places with the same reason: to pay tribute to fallen solders and pray for peace (as she says it). I don't have any issue with that.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

"Japan’s disaster reconstruction minister Masahiro Imamura visited the war-linked Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo on Wednesday, shortly after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Barack Obama visited Pearl Harbor in Hawaii to commemorate the war dead. But Imamura told reporters the timing of the events was just a 'coincidence'..." From Japan Today, Dec. 28

Construction Minister Imamura's visit to Yasukuni on the day of Abe's Pearl Harbor visit was written off as "just a coincidence." I wonder if Defense Minister Inada's visit will likewise be downplayed as yet another coincidence.

What irks me is that she stood right by Abe's side during much of the Pearl Harbor visit. This is the epitome of insincerity. Even more, this is a major affront to Obama, which the Trump supporters will have a field day with. It makes him look like gullible and naive. They took advantage of Obama's positive intentions. It's a slap in the face.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

It's not very difficult to imagine that she did it on both places with the same reason: to pay tribute to fallen solders and pray for peace (as she says it). I don't have any issue with that.

I am pretty sure that Abe will do the same once his duty as Prime Minister is over. And he will do it for the same reason: TO PAY TRIBUTE TO FALLEN SOLDIERS AND PRAY FOR PEACE.

It's really as simple as that. I really don't have any issue with that.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

Tomomi-chan is just a little chicken hawk coming home to roost on her favorite perch at Yasukuni; a little boidie tweet-tweeting back to the martial spirits in repose that this time Pearl Harbor was a doozy: a win-win (with a possible future nuclear payoff for the Japanese military?).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Let Japanese deal with Yasukuni and leave them alone

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Yes by all means if the war criminals are VERY PUBLICALLY REMOVED, till then forget about it!!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"It's really as simple as that."

No it is not as simple as that. You obviously don't know the issue. No one is denying the Japanese to remember their war dead, at such ceremonies as Chidorigafuchi. That is NOT the issue.

The problem is that Yasukuni is different - it glorifies and justifies Japan's brutal conquest of its neighbors. And those neighbors take umbrage at that, quite understandably, given that japan's adventures killed 10 million of them.

Proposals in Japan to create a replacement secular ceremony that is solely about mourning the deaths of fallen soliders have been vigorously rejected and smeared in the past -- by conservative Japanese groups. THAT is the issue.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

On Wednesday, Masahiro Imamura, the minister in charge of the reconstruction of northern Japan after the massive 2011 tsunami, went to Yasukuni hours after Abe paid tribute in Hawaii.

How many times have the minister in charge of reconstruction visited those pour souls from Fukushima that are still living in shelters after nearly six years?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

A politician speaking from both sides of the mouth? Quelle surprise.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

@takeda.shingen etc. etc.

True, Yauskuni is full of some of the nastiest WWII criminals Japan had to offer, but couldn't it also be argued that the reason why there are so many war criminals there is that Japan was on the side that lost and the U.S.A. was on the side that won? For example, pilots who firebombed Japanese cities or who dropped atomic weapons (I assume a few of these pilots anyway are buried at Arlington) would have qualified as war criminals had the shoe been on the other foot, wouldn't you say?

But don't get me wrong.I won't deny that the IJA and its officers and generals rank right up there with the worst of the worst (far worse than what the Allies were guilty of) in terms of inhumanitiy, cruelty and savagery, but war by its very nature is all of these things, regardless of what the nationality is of the individual who happens to be pulling a trigger or lever dropping a deadly payload.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

JeffLeeDEC. 29, 2016 - 08:37PM JST

The problem is that Yasukuni is different - it glorifies and justifies Japan's brutal conquest of its neighbors. And those neighbors take umbrage at that, quite understandably, given that japan's adventures killed 10 million of them.

It's also a completely private religious institution, which politicians have no business visiting in any sort of public capacity. Something else that people trying to draw parallels with Arlington Cemetery, the Cenotaph and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier should keep in mind.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

In God We Trust

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

DieRealityCheck: "Let Japanese deal with Yasukuni and leave them alone"

Says the guy who can't leave people to march in peace in South Korea, but instead blames them for Japan's atrocities -- for which war criminals are enshrined in and visited by people like Inada, making the whole photo op at Pearl Harbor just an attempt to score points.

If they want to visit of their own volition and as individuals, let them do so, not signing in in their official positions, riding in company cars, etc. Going as politicians does not give them the right to privacy, since they are going as officials representing the nation.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

The problem is that Yasukuni is different - it glorifies and justifies ,,,,

That does not prevent anyone from paying tribute to fallen soldiers and praying for peace at the shrine - which she said she did. She did not kill anyone at the shrine or advocate another war; on the contrary, she said she went there to report to the war dead of her visit to Peal Harbor, telling them how two bitter enemies have come to a strong allies and offered her pledge to work for peace.

I don't have any issue with that - not at all.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The spirits of the war criminals are restless. Looks like it's time to send the wife there again.....but only after the ministers. We don't want it to get too obvious.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japanese politicians decided to stop Chinese and South Korean command.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

socrateosDEC. 30, 2016 - 12:54AM JST The problem is that Yasukuni is different - it glorifies and justifies ,,,,

That does not prevent anyone from paying tribute to fallen soldiers and praying for peace at the shrine - which she said she did. She did not kill anyone at the shrine or advocate another war; on the contrary, she said she went there to report to the war dead of her visit to Peal Harbor, telling them how two bitter enemies have come to a strong allies and offered her pledge to work for peace.

You don't really get it, do you? The Constitution of Japan separates state from religion, and thereby dis-establishes institutions such as shrines and prevents politicians from visiting them in an official capacity. What I have no problem with is politicians going to that shrine in a 100% private capacity - no fanfare, no reporters, no statements, and certainly not on paid time. Inada won't do that, though, because she's a member of Nippon Kaigi and these ostentatious displays go down well with her ultra-nationalist base. She says she prayed for peace? Rubbish. She wants financial donations and votes.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Anybody who says they don't understand what the problem is with politicians visiting Yasukuni is either deeply ignorant, or pretending to be. Neither being particularly attractive attributes.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

You don't really get it, do you? The Constitution of Japan separates state from religion, and thereby dis-establishes institutions such as shrines and prevents politicians from visiting them in an official capacity. ..

Japanese constitution guarantees Freedom of Religion for everyone regardless of one's race, sex, occupation or job title. No government can deprive this right from any individual due to one's occupation or job title.

"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. (UN: Universal Declaration of Human Rights)" Everyone has right to exercise religion in public or in private.

Her is not an official visit because it was a private decision and not a public duty of any government. Whether she visits or not is completely dependent on her own private decision.

Japanese constitution also guarantees Freedom of Assembly and Association. She can associate with any group she wants - it is a guaranteed basic right under Japanese constitution.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Just remove the 14 names. They are not war dead and so by definition do not belong there. Then close the fiction-factory 'museum', and the problem is solved. If we are going to play the game of Yasukuni being an independent religious entity, the government can just say, OK, we boycott it until the above two conditions are met. Then fire any independent politician who does not comply. Opposition parties would agree. Then, even the Emperor may find it a suitable place to visit, which neither he nor his father did following the 1978 entry of those names into the book.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Socrateos: it guarantees it to individuals,m and does not discriminate, however visiting in an official capacity goes against the law. They can visit as individuals, but not as officials. Huge difference.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

US State Department issued a kind of statement that Chinese would say "History perception...blah, blah". Visiting Yasukuni has nothing to do with history perception. Shame on US. I'm glad that Obama is leaving. He is the worst US President after Roosevelt and the next guy who dropped nuke bombs on Japan.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@stormcrow"Yasukuni Shrine isn't all that different from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, is it?"

Yes, it is. There aren't reasons for westerners to complain.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Yamashi:

Your message is contradictory. "Yes it is" very different from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, as you rightly point out. But "There aren't reasons for westerners to complain" is wrong on every level. As I mentioned earlier:

Anybody who says they don't understand what the problem is with politicians visiting Yasukuni is either deeply ignorant, or pretending to be. Neither being particularly attractive attributes.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

tinawatanabe DEC. 30, 2016 - 11:42AM JST Visiting Yasukuni has nothing to do with history perception.

It's fact. If it was ok, why don't we see your emperor visiting Yasukuni? Yasukuni has a problem with 14 class A including your friend Tojo. Do you see German government reps visiting nazi cemetery with 14 class A?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

sfjp330 - Emperor never said why he stopped visiting the shrine, but we can guess it is not because of what you think. Besides, his not visiting is not significant becuase mojority of Japanese support shrine visit

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

sfjp330 - Shrine visit is Japan's most important culture, nothing to do with trade or business.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

tinawatanabeDEC. 30, 2016 - 02:33PM JSTsfjp330 - Shrine visit is Japan's most important culture, nothing to do with trade or business.

As a government it is in their duties to acknowledge the wrongdoings of their forefathers and help prevent such things from occurring again. Unfortunately, the same history has countless, consistent denial by high-ranking Japanese officials denying that sadistic war time crimes ever took place. The real message of the war criminals being enshrined at Yasukuni is that no matter what you do, no matter how much suffering you inflict, if you have Japanese blood in your veins you are ok. On the other hand if you are foreigner, no matter how much they have suffered it is not important, you are not Japanese. Considering the suffering inflicted on neighboring Asian countries by Japan is it so hard to call them the 'invasions' that they are rather than 'advances'? If Hiroshima and Nagasaki are crimes then surely Japan's wartime actions are also crimes, why is it so easy for Japanese people to acknowledge A-bomb victims and so hard to acknowledge Asian victims of Japan's wartime aggression? Simple, The A-bomb victims were Japanese and therefore important and the others were foreign and therefore less than human and unimportant. That is the underlying fact that is hard to move beyond that for Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

sfjp - you are very brainwashed. True history is completely different. I suggest you read books. Japanese books are the best but English is OK too. Anyway, you have no legal grounds to demand the Japanese not visit Japanese shrine in Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

sfjp - You have to read lots of books English and Japanese to get as much close to the truth as possible. History is coutinuous not collection of isolated events.

Anyway, shrine visit is Japan's oldest tradition, nothing to do with the perception of the last war.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Yasukuni Shrine is a very weird place... almost like a circus.

Every time I have been there I have seen weirdo military cosplayers living out their fantasies.

They are extreme right-wing Japanese... with a mentality similar to nazis.

To be honest, it's funny and entertaining to watch these weirdos.

Japan has managed to make its war memorial into a kind of big joke.

The priests in charge of Yasukuni are extreme right-wingers too.

And perhaps the biggest joke is the "museum" next door to the shrine with its ridiculously biased and extreme right wing version of history.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@choiwaruoyaji "Yasukuni Shrine is a very weird place"

Yasukuni Shrine is the same place as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Whether westerners like it or not.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Yasukuni Shrine is the same place as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Whether westerners like it or not.

Yasukuni shrine is a very weird place with extreme right wing Japanese doing military cosplay there.

It is run by extreme right wing nationalist priests and also has an extreme right wing museum pushing a biased version of history.

Whether you like it or not, the Japanese have made their main war memorial into a an extreme right wing place with a bunch of weirdos running it and attracting many military cosplaying weirdos.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Yamashi - I think you will find that Yasukuni IS NOT the same as the tomb of the unknown soldier.

If you go for a stroll not so far from Yasukuni, you will come across the Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery which IS the main Japanese Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Such tombs around the world contain the bodies or remains of unknown soldiers. Chidorigafuchi does. Yasukuni doesn't.

Such tombs around the world serve to symbolize the sorrowful loss of life and futulity of war - all suffer - and to give a final symbolic resting place to all who have died and to those who remain unknown.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Such tombs around the world serve to symbolize the sorrowful loss of life and futulity of war - all suffer - and to give a final symbolic resting place to all who have died and to those who remain unknown.

While yasukuni in its current form does NOTHING OF THE SORT, it is the equivalent of Nazi worship WHEN politicians parade there PRETENDING to be """""""on a private visit"""""""" like inada, DISUSTING in the extreme!

yasukuni is NOTHING like the tomb for the unknown soldier!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The Emperor's abstention from visiting Yasukuni looks a lot weaker when you read how he and the occupying Americans pushed all the blame for the war to his staff, some of whom are among the '14 war criminals' enshrined there.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hideki_Tojo#Capture.2C_trial.2C_and_execution

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasukuni_Shrine

... His successor Nagayoshi Matsudaira, who rejected the Tokyo war crimes tribunal's verdicts, enshrined the Class A war criminals in a secret ceremony in 1978. Emperor Hirohito, who visited the shrine as recently as 1975, was privately displeased with the action, and subsequently refused to visit the shrine. ...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

GW - were your strong words meant for me, or did I miss the intent, or did you mis-read my post?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

For many that have lived in Japan you may understand and appreciate what Yasukuni Shrine really represent and stand for. Hopefully you understand the Shinto philosophy and Japanese culture.

It is also hoped that you put all of into perspective.

Every society, every culture, every nation, just as each person has their own different and unique way of honoring life, death, nature, god or gods and even people. How do you honor yours?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Every society, every culture, every nation, just as each person has their own different and unique way of honoring life, death, nature, god or gods and even people.

Sure.

For Japan, in regards to it WW2, military personnel are honored at a shrine run by extreme right-wing nationalist priests, with an attached museum pushing a biased extreme right-wing nationalist version of history and the whole place attracts extreme right-wing nationalist cosplaying weirdos.

So don't worry.

We understand it and put it into perspective.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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