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Cabinet ministers visit Yasukuni Shrine; Abe sends offering

130 Comments
By Antoni Slodkowski

Japan's prime minister sent an offering to a shrine for war dead on Thursday, the anniversary of Japan's World War Two defeat, while cabinet members visited it in person, drawing harsh complaints from China and South Korea, and putting at risk tentative steps to improve ties.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was treading a fine line between trying not to inflame tension with China and South Korea and upholding a conservative ideology shared by his supporters.

But at least three cabinet ministers and dozens of lawmakers paid their respects at Yasukuni Shrine, seen as a symbol of Japan's past militarism.

"I asked my special aide ... to make the offering on my behalf with a feeling of gratitude and respect for those who fought and gave their precious lives for their country," Abe told reporters at the prime minister's office.

"As for when I might go to Yasukuni Shrine, or whether I will go or not, I will not say as this should not become a political or diplomatic issue," he said after his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) aide conveyed the offering in the name of "Shinzo Abe, LDP leader."

Visits to the shrine by top politicians outrage China and South Korea because the shrine honors 14 Japanese wartime leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal, along with war dead.

A retired Chinese general said: "Can you imagine what the world would think of Germany if they paid homage to Nazi boss Hitler?" retired Chinese Major General Luo Yuan, one of China's most outspoken military figures, wrote in the influential tabloid the Global Times.

China and Korea suffered under Japanese rule, with parts of China occupied from the 1930s and Korea colonised from 1910 to 1945. Japanese leaders have apologised in the past but many in China and South Korea doubt the sincerity of the apologies, partly because of contradictory remarks by politicians.

South Korea's Foreign Ministry called the visits "deplorable", saying they showed the ministers were "still keeping their eyes shut to history" and urging Japan to offer a sincere apology.

Japanese conservatives say it is only natural to honor the war dead and deny that doing so at Yasukuni glorifies the war.

"Paying homage to the war dead is a purely domestic matter and it's not for other countries to criticize us or intervene in these matters, Keiji Furuya, a minister whose portfolios include the national public safety commission, said after paying his respects at the shrine in central Tokyo.

Internal affairs minister Yoshitaka Shindo and administrative reform minister Tomomi Inada also visited the shrine as did a group of 89 lawmakers, including LDP policy chief Sanae Takaichi and aides to another 101 MPs.

Chinese state media reported that it military would conduct live fire drills for four days from Thursday in the East China Sea, though not close to Japan. Some Japanese media speculated this was timed to coincide with the Yasukuni visits.

Despite close economic ties and recent calls by Abe for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Japan's relations with its neighbors remain fraught.

Speaking later at a memorial service in Tokyo, Abe said: "We will carve out the nation's future that is full of hope, while facing history with humility and deeply engraving lessons to be learnt in our minds."

Crowds of Japanese, including pensioners and school children, streamed through the shrine complex after it opened around dawn.

"My father died during the war, so I come here every year to pray for him and for the people who sacrificed their lives for the country," said Mariko Matsuda, 70. "It's a great shame that Prime Minister Abe won't visit the shrine today."

Four South Korean opposition lawmakers who tried to protest at the shrine were hustled away by police after a scuffle.

Hundreds of members of the nationalist "Gambare Nippon" (Stand Firm! Japan) group, carrying Japanese flags with black mourning ribbons, later marched to the shrine, where they sang the national anthem and shouted "Long Live the Emperor".

Tokyo had hoped that if Abe stayed away, it could send a signal to China of his desire to ease tension.

A dispute over rival claims to uninhabited islands in the East China Sea intensified last September when the previous Japanese government bought the isles from a Japanese citizen.

Feuding over the islands and wartime history, combined with regional rivalry and mutual mistrust, suggest that a summit is unlikely any time soon, officials involved in behind-the-scenes talks between Beijing and Tokyo told Reuters.

Visits to Yasukuni by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi during his 2001-2006 term sent Sino-Japanese ties into a chill.

The deeply conservative Abe improved relations by staying away from the shrine during a previous short term as prime minister, but later said he regretted not paying his respects as premier and made a visit after becoming LDP leader last September.

Abe's agenda of bolstering the military and easing the limits of the pacifist post-war constitution on Japan's armed forces as a prelude to revising the U.S.-drafted charter have raised concern in China, while Japan is worried about China's military build-up and its maritime ambitions.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2013.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

130 Comments
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All Japanese politicians must visit their own shrine.

-7 ( +15 / -22 )

And they must be free to visit and pay homage to the departed ones whom they want to visit. No intimidation esp from other countries. No need to put other meaning. They died and unfortunately during war. In this part of the world they're heroes. Who are we to shun them from doing homage to the dead?

3 ( +18 / -15 )

Japan's national shame. And what a shame.

If Japan would just get over itself, and admit its past mistakes, it would help Japan beyond measure.

-13 ( +13 / -26 )

talexa05Aug. 15, 2013 - 07:18AM JST

All Japanese politicians must visit their own shrine.

No responsibility and accountability from you. We've got it, talexa. Piss, poop and no wipe, right?

-11 ( +8 / -19 )

Why would someone want to go to a place where a person such as Hideki Tojo and others like him are venerated? Maybe the ugly flames of nationalism are still burning embers left from 70 years ago?

-17 ( +10 / -27 )

The Japanese people should never trust any politician that worships at Yasukuni Shrine. The reason they visit Yasukuni is because the votes they'll gain from the Japan Bereaved Families Association far outweighs the votes they'll lose by visiting Yasukuni.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

A nation should commemorate and remember people who died serving or fighting for their country.

However I hope they can also remember the people who died as a result of their past actions, instead of trying to downplay or outright deny them. I believe Japan is capable of this.

2 ( +11 / -9 )

Once again hurtful behavior from right wing Japanese politicians who are giving all Japanese a bad name. Remembering war dead is one thing but doing so at a shrine where there is a museum justifying the wrongs of Japan's imperial army next to it is another. Remove the museum or at least have one that doesn't whitewash history. And stop justifying aggression.

Also the life and suffering of a korean, Chinese, Singaporean and all other nations that suffered under Japan are of equal value to that of a Japanese. Japan seems to only remember its own victimhood (of atomic bombs ) but forget it was also an aggressor in Asia. Please japan, stop denying and glorifying crimes committed by your imperial army. It only isolates you from your neighbors and prevents normal relations. Please ask your leaders to remove the museum and make real amends

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

The contradiction is that these people who visit the shrine, and those that defend them, are the very same people that demand China and the Koreas 'forget the past and move on'. If only Japan could truly honor the dead and stop insisting it happen again, and make honest amends. THEN I think they could truly worship, and truly put the souls of the dead at peace.

-2 ( +13 / -15 )

I think this little snippet from Wikipedia is interesting. I was surprised that you could be enshrined against your will.

"Currently, Yasukuni Shrine has enshrined 27,863 Taiwanese and 21,181 Koreans without consultation of surviving family members and in some cases against the stated wishes of the family members.... There are numerous enshrined kami who died at Chinreisha."

4 ( +6 / -2 )

China and South Korea are in a permanent state of anger against Japan. If they tore down the Yasukuni Shrine tomorrow they would find something else to be angry about, and if the couldn't they would makes something up. China and South Korea need Japan as an enemy for political purposes.

-1 ( +18 / -19 )

marking the anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II, an AFP video journalist saw.

... and it also marks the beginning of Obon, the traditional period for honoring the dead.

CrazyJoeAug. 15, 2013 - 08:57AM JST The reason they visit Yasukuni is because the votes they'll gain from the Japan Bereaved Families Association far outweighs the votes they'll lose by visiting Yasukuni.

This is the essence of democracy though, doing what the majority of the people want you to do. What are you trying to say CrazyJoe, that Japan should abandon democracy? Or perhaps you only want them to practice democracy if the people democratically reach decisions YOU like?

The U.S. President traditionally visits Arlington on Memorial day, which certainly has at least as many dubious characters buried there as Yasukuni, and it isn't even part of the President's religion. Come on now, be fair.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

China and South Korea need Japan as an enemy for political purposes.

This must be some kind of mantra for many Japanese supporters.

Doesn't Japan also need to fan the flames of nationalism for political purposes too?

"China and Korea need and want Japan as an enemy to deflect attention away from mounting internal problems"

Repeat a thousand times.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

China and South Korea need Japan as an enemy for political purposes.

Japanese politicians need Yasukuni for political purposes.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

@Frungy

They'll free to go of course. Japan is a democracy and you're entitled to your own opinions. I never said they shouldn't go.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

"Japan is a democracy"

Japan is not a democracy, please.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Prime Minister Koizumi, who went to Yasukuni on August 15th and on 5 other times during his tenure, said that his favourite book was a collection of the last letters of "kamikaze" pilots. One can read their letters, in Japanese and English at the Yasukuni Shrine site http://www.yasukuni.or.jp/english/will/index.php One of the reasons that make it difficult for current Japanese politicians to stay away from Yasukuni are the sentiments expressed in the letters, which I recommend folks read.

Another way of looking at the past might be to conclude "We duped our kids with mythology - that they would be re-united with their families at Yasukuni - into blowing themselves to bits," but that is not the way that most people see it, since the "mythology" is still alive and fairly well. Today is also Obon, and its message is that the dead do not go away forever, but keep coming back, for as long as their are people that want to see them again at least.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Japan should remove the war criminals. As for China and Korea, it's not that important. They'll just find something new to bitch about anyway even if Japan remove the criminals.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

It's time for every side to forgive the other side once and for all. Japan has few friends in Asia and in a competitive market and for the sake of prosperity they need make friends around them not enemies.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Year after year, these actions clearly shows past apologies from Japan weren't sincere at all.

These actions clearly differentiates how the people and the government of Japan and Germany acknowledges and accepts their past atrocities, showing remorse and amends for them.

Germany was able to come clean about their past and become a great leader in EU. Japan, not so much.

A Shame.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

The article says "many in the region see Yasukuni as a symbol of Japan's past militarism".

This is a curious statement: There are 2 countries, China and South Korea (4 if you count Taiwan and North Korea) that think this way, and this list does not include the Philippines which experienced the Bataan Death March and whose capital, Manila, was the second most damaged city in WWII.

This points towards the real culprit: these two countries' educational systems built on hate, which do not exist in southeast asia. China and South Korea are teaching hate of Japan in order to bolster their own nationalist credentials.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

if i were abe, i would call a press conference in front of yasukuni and say the only reason that he is visiting is cause china and korea have no right to tell him what to do after all china said as much when the u.s. complains.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Politicians of Japan who strive for peace and constructive international relations should instead visit nearby Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery, a shrine that honors Japan's war dead while also aspiring toward peace and goodwill with Japan's neighbors.

In contrast, Yasukuni actively celebrates Japan's actions in WWII and other wars, and as such goes well beyond the role of providing hallowed ground where those who lost their lives for their country can be honored. Out of curiosity, I have visited the shrine and found that it caters to Japan's extreme right (while Chidorigafuchi does not).

Just do an image search of Yasukuni Shrine in Japanese (靖国神社) to see what I mean. Thirteen of the first 50 images are of right wingers, many decked out in WWII military uniforms. Here is a link to results from a google image search of Yasukuni Shrine in Japanese: http://goo.gl/VHhpW4

0 ( +5 / -5 )

You have to love these guys that say they went "privately" having signed in publicly and then give interviews after.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Politicians of Japan who strive for peace and constructive international relations should instead visit nearby Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery, a shrine that honors Japan's war dead while also aspiring toward peace and goodwill with Japan's neighbors.

It's a cemetery which houses the remains of unknown soldiers.

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

I feel its ridiculous to spend my positive energy on their deliberate negative and insulting actions. The general public wants peace and to make progress yet Japans leaders deliberately provoke others. So whats the point? They could go incognito or on their own time but this is a publicity stunt for maximum exposure. The main problem is Japanese apathy and willingness to keep their own leaders in check. There are very few powerful groups or media that will criticize these actions from a moral point of view. So most people remain ignorant of the past and indifferent.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

It's enough to just remove the war criminals from the shrine. The shrine itself thrives on the theme that Japan's invasions in Asia were glorious and justified. The shrine portrays Japan as a savior of Asians against European colonists. The Japanese were no saviors as they portray themselves as. It's terribly offensive to see the shrine standing as is, with Japanese right wing people decked out in Imperial costumes reliving their glory days of Imperialism. It's basically an abomination of what the rest of the world knows as history. Japanese keep saying Koreans and Chinese keep drudging up the past, but look at the shrine itself and the Japanese politicians and Japanese people who go there to worship their imperialism of the past, aren't they themselves keep drudging up their past?

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

Sensato I am not sure how you can tell people's politics from their appearance. In your image search (http://goo.gl/VHhpW4) there are, for example, three photos the guy with white writing on his suit who is Minoru Torihada a Japanese comedian who does an act which is a parody of Japanese right-wingers, here for example. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dSrOGeW2Rg0 There are others, old soldiers that are in uniform. Does this make them right wing? Are the old soldiers that we see in the UK in uniform on Remembrance Day also right wing?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Sorry, mistake in typo. I meant to say "it's not enough to just remove the war criminals from the shrine". The shrine even have pictures of Korean comfort women wearing Japanese flags, showing their loyalty to the emperor. But the shrine says nothing about the deceptive and coercive methods Japan employed in recruiting these women. Granted, Japanese claim they are supposedly nothing but prostitutes. But even if we are to accept such claims, it's disgusting portrayal of women who are going into battle fields to serve Japanese soldier's sexual needs. It's offensive to all women, and to the intelligence of people with common sense.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Way to go fds! Best comment on this forum. I wish Abe would do just that and shut the detractors up. What's the point of staying away when China and Korea are still complaining. The truth is that Korea was complicit in the activities of Japan in the past, and in order to drown any voice pointing accusing fingers at them, they seem to shout the loudest, even more than the Chinese. Shame on Korea.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Alejandro S. ArashiAug. 15, 2013 - 10:11AM JST

The article says "many in the region see Yasukuni as a symbol of Japan's past militarism".

This is a curious statement: There are 2 countries, China and South Korea (4 if you count Taiwan and North Korea) that think this way,

This myth is churned out every so often, as if other Asian nations, because they don't vocalize their objections to Japan white washing its brutal militaristic past, don't have any objections to Japan's actions.

Well let me tell you a lot of people remember the Sook Ching massacres in Singapore and think exactly the same way as South Korea and China. The Negeri Sembilan massacres in Malaysia are not forgotten and many Malaysians, of Chinese Indian and bumiputera, think exactly the same way as South Korea and China.

This is the typical mindest prevelant in Japan. Others must be culturally sensitive to the unspoken truths, honne and tatemae, but the Japanese can assume the greviences of others do not exist, if they are not vocalized.

Wrong on all accounts, Japan and the poster, a lot of Asians feel a discomfort with the way Japan handles the ugly aspects of its past actions.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

Hardly anyone complains when French Presidents visit L’Arc de Triomphe, a triumphal arch is in honor of those who fought for France, in particular, those who fought during the Napoleonic Wars. Engraved on the inside and at the top of the arch are all of the names of the generals and wars fought. There are inscriptions in the ground underneath the vault of the arch which include the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I where the Memorial Flame burns and have made the Arc de Triomphe Paris a revered patriotic site.

Germans aren’t taught to hate L’Arc de Triomphe although Napoleon wrecked havoc on Germanic states.

China and South Korea's jingoistic history educational system is the real, underlying issue here.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

The U.S. President traditionally visits Arlington on Memorial day, which certainly has at least as many dubious characters buried there as Yasukuni, and it isn't even part of the President's religion. Come on now, be fair.

I know you are seriously joking. Seriously, you are comparing Yasukuni to Arlington?? Lol

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Macpaul: "What's the point of staying away when China and Korea are still complaining."

Ummm... staying away when China and Korea are still complaining? Seems a pretty good reason for staying away if you want to play leader. Sadly, a leader Abe is not.

"The truth is that Korea was complicit in the activities of Japan in the past..."

Put a gun to your head and see what you do.

"...and in order to drown any voice pointing accusing fingers at them, they seem to shout the loudest, even more than the Chinese. Shame on Korea."

Utter BS. People who were visited more atrocities on them than others have every right to shout a little louder about it. Would you complain if more Japanese whined about the atomic bombings than, say, the Koreans? My guess is no.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

They could go incognito or on their own time but this is a publicity stunt for maximum exposure.

When British or US politicians go to various remembrance day celebrations do they do it for as "a publicity stunt for maximum exposure," or merely to do their job, and represent their people? (As Alice Igarashi says)

2 ( +8 / -6 )

@timtak

There are others, old soldiers that are in uniform. Does this make them right wing? Are the old soldiers that we see in the UK in uniform on Remembrance Day also right wing?

Many of the random photos appearing from the google image search are full-fledged extremists, not all obviously. I am sure you must agree.

I visited the shrine around 20 years ago, on some day of significance to the shrine that attracted hoards of visitors. The Kudanshita area around the shrine was swarming with fleets of right winger sound trucks (truck images: http://goo.gl/LBrVf7) spewing their propaganda and high-decibel WWII military songs, and many of the visitors to the shrine were nationalist types of all ages wearing WWII issue uniforms, some obviously veterans but most obviously not.

Anyway, I found the experience creepy and quite unnerving, and didn't stay around for long. That experience certainly left me with the impression that the shrine acts as a bastion for nationalists and is no place for responsible politicians to visit.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

So is Arlington National Cemetery. It doesn't stop the President of the USA laying a wreath there on memorial day!!

Arlington is not just a burial for unknown soldiers is it?

But FYI, same for Japan's PM.

http://www.boen.or.jp/boen031.htm

-5 ( +7 / -11 )

As long as foreigners show favor for Yasukuni, like this American showing his support in this video, Japanese love them like they're celebrity because they justify Japan's actions.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TPsRA634x7Q

But look at the way foreigners get treated if they're skeptical of Yasukuni. Even the police gets involved in harassing the foreigner!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jOs2YD-OTk

Watch the way this Japanese woman protesting in front of Yasukuni entrance, who's father was enshrined there against her objections. She gets assaulted and told to shut up. The official even claims the law doesn't allow war criminals to be enshrined there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSMB0M59RS4

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Sensato

So I guess you feel the same way about Americans who reenact the civil war all the time?

How about the reenactment of WW1 done in France?

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Seriously, you are comparing Yasukuni to Arlington??

Seriously, what's the difference? Are all American soldiers righteous heroes who deserve the respect of the President? Every nation has its black sheep, and I'm sure Arlington has it's fair share or war criminals - just because they weren't tried and killed by their enemies doesn't mean they did no wrong.

Politically it is pretty stupid for these politicians to go to Yasukuni, as they know it is a sensitive topic, but still, it doesn't mean they are going there to personally worship Tojo, you know.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Here it is, straight from a media inside Japan, why the Yasukuni shrine is bad.

Yasukuni Shrine: ground zero for unrepentant wartime remembrance by Jeff Kingston

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2013/07/27/commentary/yasukuni-shrine-ground-zero-for-unrepentant-wartime-remembrance/#.Ugw9IVMnQso

The Yasukuni narrative of Japan’s shared history with Asia is made explicit at the adjacent Yushukan Museum, where Japan is portrayed as the champion of Asia on a noble mission to liberate the region from Western colonialism.

Pankaj Mishra, an Indian writer, recently pilloried the “aggressive self-pity” on display there because the only suffering commemorated is that endured by Japanese, while the millions of Asian victims of Japanese aggression are nowhere visible.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

China and Korea have no right to meddle in the internal affairs of Japan. They'd better mind their own business.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

@daito_hak

What makes you think Japan is not a democracy?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Sensato I am not saying that right wing sound trucks don't exist. And there are right wingers at Yasukuni, but there are also protesters, and parodies. I think that there is quite a mixture of people at the shrine. Korean MPs will also be there today. For example, the images of "right wingers" you posted has, early on, is an image of "right-wingers" clapping at Yasukuni Shrine, but it is an image from a Japanese funded, Korean directed, Japanese movie which is critical of Yasukuni Shrine.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

timtak: " And there are right wingers at Yasukuni, but there are also protesters, and parodies."

And which of those do you think will be asked to leave while the others allowed to stay?

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

CrazyJoe, it's a democracy imposed by America against Japanese will, but in reality it's not a true democracy. Even with the pretense of democracy, it's going backwards with Shinzo Abe and his gang's plans to revise the constitution drastically reducing personal freedoms.

Yasukuni visits by Japanese government on August 15 is particularly sensitive in Korea because on that same day, South Korea also celebrates the anniversary of independence day that freed the Korean people from 40 years of Japanese colonialism (oops.. I meant voluntary annexation as Japanese province for you revisionists).

As for people who keeps repeating Yasukuni as same as Arlington... please read the article I posted, pay particular attention to this part:

Sven Saaler, a professor of Japanese history at Sophia University in Tokyo, believes there are some fundamental differences. He states, “First, Arlington is designated as the official national cemetery, but is multireligious. You can find Christian crosses and Jewish stars of David on the tombs. More importantly, Yasukuni is not the official national cemetery, and it is monotheistic. Secondly, Arlington doesn’t promote an explicit historical interpretation even if the implicit message emphasizes the honor and glory of dying for the nation, like in many national memorials. Yasukuni explicitly promotes a view of history that underlies the veneration of the war dead worshipped there. This is expressed in the Yushukan Museum, and it portrays all Japanese wars in the modern period as wars to protect Japanese independence and, partly, as wars of Asian liberation — an interpretation that clearly is only a minority view in Japanese society.” Moreover, many Japanese are not keen to have their relatives venerated at Yasukuni, and this also rankles many of the Taiwanese and Koreans whose relatives are enshrined there.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Smithy

The ones that are disturbing the peace of course.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I think Japan would gain from being a little more sensitive to China and South Korea's historical sensibilities: Putting together a different monument to war dead without the 14 Class A war criminals should be a safe compromise acceptable to almost everybody.

That being said, from the people I've met, Japanese are far less jingoistic than Chinese and South Koreans, which to me points out that there is a real problem emanating from those countries' educational systems when it comes to history. I don't think Chinese and South Koreans are called out often enough with regards to their hateful educational system, though. I think this should be changed.

People will say even Japanese use history for political reasons. I think post WWII Japan has probably been one of the least nationalistic country on earth. I think it is a fair statement to say that modern Japanese nationalism is a creation of China and South Korea as Japan's modern nationalism springs from a visceral reaction to the hate coming from China and South Korea.

Abe should just do a speech where he: 1) Enumerates past apologies; 2) Enumerates the points that China and South Korea find disagreeable with the past apologies; 3) Comes out with clear revisions to the disagreeable points; 4) Raise issue that it is now time for China and South Korea to stop their jingoistic system of teaching history.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

SamuraiBlue, they aren't even inside Yasukuni. Japan claims to be a democracy, why can't the protesters show their banners and shout their slogans? As long as they're not violent, what harm are they doing, other than make Yauskuni look bad? Why does the police not practice supposed democracy?

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

SamuraiBlue: "The ones that are disturbing the peace of course."

And that, of course, depends on your definition of 'the peace'. Quite frankly I find the physical violence and noise of wingers from the truck more disturbing than people holding signs, but my guess is you just don't like to see the signs.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

nigelboyAug. 15, 2013 - 11:20AM JST

So is Arlington National Cemetery. It doesn't stop the President of the USA laying a wreath there on memorial day!! Arlington is not just a burial for unknown soldiers is it?

Well Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery doesn't just need to be just a burial spot, if the Japanese got their act together. They could build a monument to their unknown soldiers as a memorial. God knows, they need it for the numbers they've left all over Asia.

But no, Japan won't do this because, whether it's whaling, the Southern Kuriles or remembering the dead, Japan wants all the toys in her sandpit and its her way and no other way.

Great I say, just let Japan get more and more isolated to insignicence in the international world, Yasukuni is just one more nail in her international coffin.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Te complainers will always find something to complain about no matter what one is doing. They are always the same and you can see them on a daily ASIs here on JT, too.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

A place that glorifies war, such as Yasukuni, is an inappropriate place to remember the war dead.

It's like paying your respects to those who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki at an atomic bomb factory.

Unfortunately, this simple concept is beyond the comprehension of many dim-witted Japanese politicians, who demonstrate their ignorance and/or pig headedness by going to the shrine.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Seriously who cares what they do in their own home country. Let them pay their respects to the war dead. I know Japan white washes their history but nothing is going to be done about it. Everyone complains and protests but its always going to be the same.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

When CNBC reported that Government officials visited the war shrine, an attack on the Japanese Yen consistent with foreign government intervention occurred (n.b., occurred just after 10:00 PM Eastern Standard Time), which strengthened the Yen in a manner adverse to the economic aims of the Central Bank/Government and dramatically lowered the Nikkei 225. In short, when a foreign government who opposes a weaker yen surreptitiously intervenes to advance their interests, a case can be made that Japan would benefit from the Japanese Central Bank countering the action of that foreign government by clandestinely intervening to weaken the yen. Only the Japanese Central Bank has the balance sheet required to effectively stand up against another country; and fortunately, the Constitution does not prevent Japan from defending itself against this type of foreign attack.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Dog wrote on AUG. 15, 2013 - 12:01PM JST

<> "Great I say, just let Japan get more and more isolated to insignicence in the international world, Yasukuni is just one more nail in her international coffin." <>

I admire your fire but I don't see where you base your claim of isolation and insignificance on: Japan is getting tied tighter and tighter to TPP; Japan is enjoying warmer and warmer relations with Vietnam, the Philippines and India, not to mention the traditionally very warm people to people relationship with Taiwan; economically, Japan is finally getting down to discussing which structural changes (and the trade offs) it needs to do to jump start growth. The Japanese stock market is almost as big as all other Asian markets put together and Japan's annualized growth rate of about 4% is blistering for an advanced country; Japan has the 6th largest armed forces in the world and probably one of the best submarine fleets and submarine hunting technology in the world.

Doesn't sound isolated or insignificant to me.

The key relationship that saddens me, though is the Japan-South Korea one. I live in Korea Town and we residents hate the rightists who come here to shout rightist, racist insults. Both countries are prosperous, democratic, progressively becoming liberal, in common alliance with the US, in love with each other's culture and food, and have a common enemy in North Korea.

I've always thought South Korea and Japan (and maybe even Taiwan) should be the engine of a prosperous Asian community, much like how France and Germany getting over their hundred years of hate propelled them to establish the ECSC in 1952.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Chucky & Smithy

Within the premises of the Shine it is private property and the owner naturally has control. If you can't obey they you are asked to leave it's as simple as that.

There is also Soranzai(article 106 within the criminal law) [crime concerning riot].

0 ( +4 / -4 )

SamuraiBlue. If you look at the protest videos that I linked up to, the protestors were not inside the shrine. If they're not inside the shrine, they are in part of the public place. If you look at that Canadian who was kicked out of the shrine, the mob of police harassed him out of the shrine, and followed him, harassing him through all the street blocks! He wasn't even near the shrine yet followed and threatened by the police just because he apparantly said some negative things about the shrine.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

chucky

The Canadian did it within the premises and was reported to the police at watch. The police placed him into custody and escorted him to a nearby koban to interrogate the suspect due to reporting. It's called due process which is standard procedure within a democratic nation. It's the same as a person was caught and reported of breaking and entering by the land owner and handed over to the police.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Back on topic please.

A nation should commemorate and remember people who died serving or fighting for their country

Should Germany start commemorating those who fought to uphold (and, of course, perpetrated) the evils of Nazi philosophy? It simply cannot be discounted as to what cause those "fighting for their country" were actually fighting for. That's why China and Korea see pilgrimages to Yasukuni as a commemoration of part of the cause Japanese soldiers and their generals were fighting for...the brutal and cruel subjugation of South East Asia to Japanese control.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@ Shinsaku - I don't know if you read economic news, but Japan does not have an "annualized growth rate of 4 %". Try 2.6. Hardly "blistering", and very reliant upon their number one partner, China.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Just relocate the body of 14 criminals to another place and everybody will be aable to visit the temple.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

billyshears

So you are suggesting to deprive the Germans of honoring the simple soldier who died in WW2? Remember German soldier were not necessarily Nazi party member.

Germany honor their dead as much as the Japanese or any other nations around the world but they do not have a centralized war memorial.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Korean media reports, the right wingers turned out in force at Yaskuni, even had a big anti Korean rally, calling Koreans "cock roaches" and calling Japanese to killing them all. Some right wingers showed up decked in their military uniforms, holding banners calling on Japan to remilitarize, unite and kill the Koreans and Chinese cock roaches. There were Japanese people clapping the rightists, while many of them entered the shrine. And when a Korean TV camera attempted to get close, the Japanese mob appeared in front of them, threatening to harm them physically, shouting at them to get out of Japan, and the police showed up to break up the violence by grabbing the Korean cameramen and taking them off the front of Yasukuni by force.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

it was hard to watch, civilians are showing their true nature, with many showing their support to right wing protesters. Many people are visiting the shrine solely to piss of the koreans and chinese, which shows a complete lack of understanding of Japan's warcriems

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

lol, what did these saps sacrifice their lives for? for the sake of serving their dear leader, 'lil H?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Apparently 90 lawmakers went to Yasukuni Shrine today. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WERSkZA2cu8

Should Germany start commemorating those who fought to uphold (and, of course, perpetrated) the evils of Nazi philosophy?

Because the Germans were not just losers but deemed to have been evil losers, I don't think that implies that the Japanese were evil losers too. The Japanese openly Japanese repudiated German policy towards Jews for instance. The foreign minister that did so was hung in Tokyo, and is one of the controversial class A war criminals.

Yasukuni actively celebrates Japan's actions in WWII and other wars In the same way I think that there are lots of flags, guns, salutes, and statues commemorating war-time acts (the raising of the flag on Japanese soil for instance) at Arlington. https://www.facebook.com/ArlingtonNationalCemetery/photos_stream

0 ( +5 / -5 )

timtakAug. 15, 2013 - 01:38PM JST

Because the Germans were not just losers but deemed to have been evil losers, I don't think that implies that the Japanese were evil losers too.

Very light comment.

Go tell that to the families of the 20,000,000 Chinese civilians killed under the Japanese 三光作戦, Sankō Sakusen - kill all, burn all, loot all - policy. It puts the 6,000,000 jews murdered by the Germans in the shadows.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

TimTak,

Thanks for that link to the final letters. ( http://www.yasukuni.or.jp/english/will/index.php )

Both the variety and the common threads are surprising. Some seem to have been written from a common template or example. Others are simply beautiful. Many are fillied with delusions. The ones that aren't are heart-rending. All are horribly sad.

Sometimes, when we all get fussing about the politics, it's easy to lose sight of the individual losses. And the futility of war.

Thanks again.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

it was hard to watch, civilians are showing their true nature, with many showing their support to right wing protesters. Many people are visiting the shrine solely to piss of the koreans and chinese, which shows a complete lack of understanding of Japan's warcriems

your right. there is a lack of understanding about japan's war crimes cause they took place about 70 years ago and very few of the current population participated in them or condoned them and they are tired and piss off at the chinese and koreans constant complaining all the time. its human nature to do what people tell you not to if they have no right to tell you in the first place.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Bob. Not everyone who goes to the shrine gives a thought to modern-day international relations. Some just go because dad, or grandad has no other "grave" to visit on o-bon.

I go to Yasukuni and wait for your there. When the occasion presents itself come to meet me…. To everyone.

Masumi Kusunose Mikoto Chief Petty Officer, Japanese Navy Killed in Action on October 12, 1943

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Dog I am sorry to be light. I meant rather to withhold conclusion, and encourage myself and others to look into the history. I have now read a little about 三光作戦 (thank you), which roughly translates to a scorched earth policy and was afaik carried out in the Second Boer war against the Boers by the UK and its allies http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Boer_War, and yet the Boer war is remembered in similar ways to Yasukuni and Arlington in both the UK and Australia. We we, the British and Australians so evil that we should not remember our war dead in uniform, beneath the British flag?

taj I know what you mean about the "template" feel. At the same time, not even Japanese, those letters - or others like them - rip me to pieces.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Both the variety and the common threads are surprising. Some seem to have been written from a common template or example. Others are simply beautiful. Many are fillied with delusions. The ones that aren't are heart-rending. All are horribly sad.

I've read a few of those letters. While it's understandable that many Japanese will read those letters with tears in their eyes, let's not forget they wrote these letters just prior to committing murder-suicide.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Maybe they just went to see all the cool exhibits and photographs of Japan's glorious military past?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

they wrote these letters just prior to committing murder-suicide.

Are you saying that the soldiers remembered at Arlington, or on Boer War day <http://tinyurl.com/p5fs7yn

did something different?

The letters by the way, do appear to be different - written to a different template - since British ones tend (I could only find a few) to be full of lamentations of the unpleasantness of the war circumstances, whereas the Japanese ones tend to be about their family back home and gratitude towards them.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

BurakuminDes wrote on AUG. 15, 2013 - 12:57PM JST

<<>> @ Shinsaku - I don't know if you read economic news, but Japan does not have an "annualized growth rate of 4 %". Try 2.6. Hardly "blistering", and very reliant upon their number one partner, China <<>>

I said “annualized” not “annual” because annualized mean it is still not official and you can be arbitrary in selecting start and end points in measuring. Look at below NYT link to a similar thinking (but different number, again, due to different start/end times and rounding etc).

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/17/business/global/japans-economy-growing-at-3-5-annualized-rate.html?_r=0

Also1, an “annualized” 4% growth rate and an actual “annual” growth rate of 2.6% is not mutually exclusive: economic growth could have been significantly faster in the earlier part of the year (when the “annualized” rate was put together) and then slows down significantly to arrive at a lower average.

Also2, even if we take an “annual” 2.6% growth rate I am still comparing it to advanced economies, which would mean EU, US ... the adjective “blistering” can be (arguably) defendable.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

A not-so-great part of August 15th at Yasukuni Shrine is the protests and counter protests by extremist groups on both sides of the political spectrum near the shrine--protests that have sometimes turned into riots in past years. That's why it's called by some the busiest day for Tokyo Metropolitan Police, especially now with the intense police presence around the Shrine on this very day.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

timtakAug. 15, 2013 - 02:21PM JST

and yet the Boer war is remembered in similar ways to Yasukuni and Arlington in both the UK and Australia. We we, the British and Australians so evil that we should not remember our war dead in uniform, beneath the British flag?

You're going off track.

Nobody, not even the Chinese and Koreans, are begrudging the Japanese the right to remember those who died in uniform for their country. They are saying that Yasukuni, with its adjoining museum, with its suicide torpedo, white washing of Japanese war crimes and glorification of the 1937-45 Pacific war, is noyt the place to do it,

It isn't rockest science.

Your original comment about the difference between Germany and Japan missed its mark on the crucial point that Yasukuni symbolizes that Japan did no wrong. No such like museum/temple could exist as a national memorial to Germany's war dead because the Germans know that among their war dead, there were war criminals.

Unlike in Japan, where quite a few people don't think Japan did commit any war crimes, Afterall Yasukuni tells them so, during their high school trip to both the temple and museum and to other Japanese, they couldn't care less because they have no empathy and such thoughts disturb the national karma of 'we Japanese, we the victims' which is played out every year, at this time of the year in Japan.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

let's not forget they wrote these letters just prior to committing murder-suicide. Yes. War is a horrible, horrible thing.

I am not Japanese, but I read most of those letters with tears flowing. The template-y type letters are the most eery. Either totally delusional or so very aware that their brains have gone numb.

I would be so angry if I raised a child for 20-odd years just to see him go off to kill and be killed for the delusions of others. I can't for the life of me understand parents who encourage their kids to join the military. (Though I have friends who do just that - i keep my thoughts to myself and scratch my head in awe.)

AKB: The shrine and the museum are two entities. I wish they were completely separate - but sadly they are not. The shrine is beautiful. The museum is quite horrifying in it's viewpoints. Most visitors to the shrine are normal people. Sadly it's the cosplaying wingnuts that get the attention.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Dog. I can see you want to bring the comparison back to Japan - Germany. I want to bring the comparison back to Japan - UK/US. Does Arlington "symbolizes that the US did no wrong"? Do or should the UK and US "know that among their war dead, there were war criminals?" Does Arlington promote a more balanced view of war than Yasukuni?

The soldiers of Japan, the UK and the US, died it seems in a similar frame of mind. This next link is to a compendium of soldiers last letters, like those published by Yasukuni, a copy of which I have just ordered. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2094898/Heartbreaking-letters-frontline-soldiers-came-home-revealed.html

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Dog wrote on AUG. 15, 2013 - 11:08AM JST Alejandro S. ArashiAug. 15, 2013 - 10:11AM JST

<<>> Wrong on all accounts, Japan and the poster, a lot of Asians feel a discomfort with the way Japan handles the ugly aspects of its past actions. <<>>

War is horrible and I am all for Japan clarifying exactly which portions of the existing apologies are insufficient and what else can be done, including building a new war memorial.

However, that wasn’t the main point of my post above, and you did not respond to it: that the real culprit is China and South Korea are teaching hate of Japan in order to bolster their own nationalist credentials. I believe both sides are at fault, but hardly anyone calls out how the Chinese and South Korean educational systems teach historical hate towards Japan. In direct comparison see how Japan teaches history of US and WWII.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

DogAUG. 15, 2013 - 01:53PM JST timtakAug. 15, 2013 - 01:38PM JST

<<>> Go tell that to the families of the 20,000,000 Chinese civilians killed under the Japanese 三光作戦, Sankō Sakusen - kill all, burn all, loot all - policy. It puts the 6,000,000 jews murdered by the Germans in the shadows. <<>>

The 30,000,000 that Mao killed in his intra-party power struggle, a.k.a. cultural revolution puts both to shame. There wasn’t even a war and the famine was completely man-made.

It’s easy to see how the Chinese Communist Party would prefer the spotlight to be put on Japan’s actions during war time versus their actions during peace time.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Dog wrote AUG. 15, 2013 - 02:57PM JST " Nobody, not even the Chinese and Koreans, are begrudging the Japanese the right to remember those who died in uniform for their country. They are saying that Yasukuni, with its adjoining museum, with its suicide torpedo, white washing of Japanese war crimes and glorification of the 1937-45 Pacific war, is noyt the place to do it,"

If you refer to well-informed, intelligent, non-emotional Chinese and Koreans I would agree with you that they begrudge that the shrine and the museum are joined at the hip but they do not begrudge those who died for their country.

Unfortunately, because of the way history is taught in China and South Korea, I suspect that is not the case in 90% of the time. My measure is those who say, in blanket terms, that Japan never apologized for its actions in WWII. For me the well informed person would say that the Kono apology is insufficient because it was not ratified by the cabinet, or something specifically wrong or insufficient about it or other apologies.

Blanket statements for me are just a sign of propagandistic teaching of history in Chinese and South Korean schools.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Should Germany start commemorating those who fought to uphold (and, of course, perpetrated) the evils of Nazi philosophy? It simply cannot be discounted as to what cause those "fighting for their country" were actually fighting for. That's why China and Korea see pilgrimages to Yasukuni as a commemoration of part of the cause Japanese soldiers and their generals were fighting for...the brutal and cruel subjugation of South East Asia to Japanese control.

Exactly right and on the mark, but for some reason, that reasonable and sensible logic doesn't resonate with many Japanese. Why is it for ok for Japanese to go and commemorate their war dead and NOT the Germans? What's the difference?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

To honour a nation's war dead is a honourable thing to do, history is past, the present is the present and no other country has any right to tell another what to do. Sorry but it is just not right. Peace to all the brave spirits of those who gave their all.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

timtakAug. 15, 2013 - 03:18PM JST

Does Arlington promote a more balanced view of war than Yasukuni?

It doesn't promote any view of history, unlike Yasukuni and its horrendous museum. War has no balance. Stop talking in abstracts.

Now if it wanted to go the Yasukuni way, it could start by talking about African 'slaves' were really volunteers whose endentured work on arrival in the USA was a means to pay their passage from Africa to the promised land and Amerindians never existed.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

SamuraiBlue: "Within the premises of the Shine it is private property and the owner naturally has control. If you can't obey they you are asked to leave it's as simple as that."

Unless your a Japanese right-winger, is what you're saying.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Hey Dog you are abstract too. "War has no balance." Some views of history are more balanced than others. I would say that Arlington, like Yasukuni, does promote a certain view of America's wars, as courageous and not criminal. There is also a museum in Arlington for women in war http://www.womensmemorial.org/Education/edresource.html that distributes historical fact sheets with sections lauding the contributions of African and "Amerindian" women fighting for their new (but it does not say "new," "enslaving" or "invading") country. When people go to remember dead soldiers, they generally go to remember their courage and not their criminality. It might be a good idea to do both, and if so, where will that start?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I would say that Arlington, like Yasukuni, does promote a certain view of America's wars, as courageous and not criminal.

I didn't know that.

But it's not the same kind of in-your-face obvious political message that the displayed suicide bomber plane and the exhibited letters of the suicide bombers.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

timtakAug. 15, 2013 - 05:13PM JST

There is also a museum in Arlington for women in war http://www.womensmemorial.org/Education/edresource.html that distributes historical fact sheets with sections lauding the contributions of African and "Amerindian" women fighting for their new (but it does not say "new," "enslaving" or "invading") country.

I didn't know that. I thought Arlington was like our Cenotaph, which has no added baggage than being a memorial to the war dead. It is left for the observor to draw their own interpretations of history or visit one of the many gung ho war museums in other near postcodes.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

So you are suggesting to deprive the Germans of honoring the simple soldier who died in WW2? Remember German soldier were not necessarily Nazi party member.

Yes, I am. All involved were connected to nazism, even "the simple soldier". Germany would not dare to have an equivalent to Yasukuni. There is no way anything or anyone connected to that evil regime can be "honored". And, as far as Yasukuni is concerned, that place does not only honor "the simple soldier", it attempts to honor another evil and brutal regime that came to power through violence and tried to flourish with a doctrine of hatred.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The reason why they don't claim about Class BC war criminals is that 148 Koreans are included to it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

it has been a long time since i have bothered to check what is happening in japan......its like turning back the clock again to find out that the "Yasukuni pilgrims"are still up to their usual tricks......so predictable and boring........sums up the country really!!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"Yasukuni pilgrims"are still up to their usual tricks

Can't believe I'm reading this. Who exactly are the [your] pilgrims and what tricks are they up to?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Can't believe I'm reading this. Who exactly are the [your] pilgrims and what tricks are they up to?

I think he means the politicians descending on Yasukuni as a nationalistic chest-thumping exercise..

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

This points towards the real culprit: these two countries' educational systems built on hate, which do not exist in southeast asia. China and South Korea are teaching hate of Japan in order to bolster their own nationalist credentials.

please read/look upp some statistics on the number of civilian deaths caused by japan in china and south korea. the rest of southeast asia combined pales in significance to these two.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There is no dead body enshrined in Yasukuni,'

There is an old survived IIwojima soldier who collect war time Hinomaru that have black brushed letters . HE get decyphers them and find (very hard) surviving famly and send to them Mr. Mark Corry could not care less of war slogans. He also correct Sen-nin-bari clothes. Family of soldeirs used to stand on the street and asked to have as many as 1000 people to give one stitch during war time.

There was also video of line-up people at Yasukuni. The video concentrated on old old ladies who visited there for their husbands' soul. then people who visited for their fathers' soul, etc. No anti-Yasukuni as media anchors were too emotional,

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I can see some people's comments which are not understandable such as blaming Japanese politicians who visited to Yasukuni shrine. These people needs to understand about history and definition of Yasukuni shrine, apology history, and real aim of ROK and China. They do not protest about Yasukuni visits for their people that much. Their real aim to protest about that is only for their diplomatic negotiation toward Japan. They usually use "anti-Japanese" as their policy as just a performance. If politician stop visiting Yasukuni and other things which China and ROK does not want Japan does, then ROK and China pushes to Japan more. What LDP of Japan should do is that taking back our state in Asia, and showing strong attitude to deal with China and ROK.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I agree with Furuya-san: "Paying homage to the war dead... its not for other countries to criticize us or intervene in these matters." To the PRC, et al, back off. May they rest in peace.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Yasukuni Shrine honors not only the war dead among the general public, but also convicted Class-A war criminals from World War II. Since they were enshrined there collectively in 1978, Emperor Hirohito, posthumously known as Emperor Showa, had never visited the shrine.

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/views/editorial/AJ201304260043

In a July 31, 2001, entry of his diary, published by the Asahi newspaper, the chamberlain, Ryogo Urabe, wrote that "the direct cause" was that the emperor was "displeased about the inclusion of Class A war criminals."

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/26/world/asia/26iht-japan.1.5447598.html?_r=2&

Enuff said.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Well Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery doesn't just need to be just a burial spot, if the Japanese got their act together. They could build a monument to their unknown soldiers as a memorial. God knows, they need it for the numbers they've left all over Asia.

???? What about the "known" soldiers?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

68 years, Korea will have 68 years Anniversary of its independence from Japanese colonialization, too. So many years of discrimination against Koreans who were forced to live in Japan. No wonder Korean Govt use Japanese actions to irritate Japan. Japanese politicians must be ready to accept Korean Govt and people who irritate them even though they are not responsible for Japan's past sin.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I have been at the Yasukuni Shrine (and museum) twice as I have been to other war memorials in the world to honor the dead and pray for peace so no-one more will die in a war.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But look at the way foreigners get treated if they're skeptical of Yasukuni. Even the police gets involved in harassing the foreigner!

Wow. Thanks for that video chucky. Funniest thing I've seen in some time. I guess that tool will think twice before shooting off his mouth in another person's place of worship. Looked like he was about to wet himself there at the end. Again, great find chucky .... your best post ever.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

it doesn't mean they are going there to personally worship Tojo, you know.

Actually, yeah, it does.

That is the problem.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

It would be much more sensible to use this anniversary to explain to the kids the horrors of the wars (in general) than glorifying the victims of them.

Looking forward...!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Who cares if the PRC and it's tributary states get upset.

They would be upset with or without a Shrine, textbooks, etc etc etc etc etc.

It's all about politics and money.

The PRC controls it's masses by giving them someone to hate, as long as they hate Japan the people won't turn on them.

But when the bubble goes, so shall the people.

Money, the PRC and it's tributaries think that the more they cry foul the more money they can try to extort from Japan.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

A retired Chinese general said: “Can you imagine what the world would think of Germany if they paid homage to Nazi boss Hitler?” retired Chinese Major General Luo Yuan, one of China’s most outspoken military figures, wrote in the influential tabloid the Global Times.

1- Such a nonsense. The Nazy cementery is dedicated to nazy soldiers only while the Yasukuni Shrine is dedicated to soldiers who fought for Japan and sacrificed their lifes for their nation. Just because there are 14 war criminals there, it doesnt mean that it can be compared to Nazy cementery.

2-Actually Yasukuni Shrine can be compared to Arrigton Cementery where there are good and bad soldiers buried there. If American politicians can visit Arrigton cementery, why cant Japaneses politician visit Yasukuni Shrine?

3- Vietnam war bad soldiers are also buried on Arrigton Cementery, so if I visit this cementery, will it mean that I am worshiping Vietnam war bad soldiers?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Just following up on chucky's very useful post above which links up to a video about a Canadian who got himself arrested for being a dickhead on private property. This Canadian fellow was apparently detained by police for several hours and made to apologize for his rude behavior. I for one think that this is an excellent example of why Japan is a great place to live. Loud mouth pc idiots don't get treated with anything other than the firm hand they deserve. Kudos to the staff at the shrine for protecting their private property and kudos to the Japanese police who didn't let this guy weasel out of what he had done.

http://www.japanprobe.com/2009/08/23/canadian-confronts-right-wingers-at-yasukuni/

A link to the vid and more information.

http://www.zcommunications.org/goodies-in-tokyo-by-pierre-pariseau

A link to the Canadian guy's past political rantings (hint ... he hates GWB and loves commies).

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

So many years of discrimination against Koreans who were forced to live in Japan.

I don't deny the existence of discrimination, but Zainichi Koreans are not forced to live in Japan at least.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"There are no dead bodies enshrined in Yasukuni" In the main this is true, but Tojo Hideki is an exception. One half of his ashes are at Yasukuni apparently.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tojo Hideki is an exception. One half of his ashes are at Yasukuni apparently. I googled it but I couldn't find any concrete information about it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Zomafumi: Tojo attempted suicide but he was arrested anyway. He and 6 people were hang in 1948. tojo tried to take full responsibility and save others. Yasukuni does not enshrine ash. Never because it is Shin-do shrine. All other A class were released. We watched several of them became Prime Ministers later. No more pikadon but Red scared Japan then. We were brain washed to perform Ichioku Gyokusui.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just following up on chucky's very useful post above which links up to a video about a Canadian who got himself arrested for being a dickhead on private property. This Canadian fellow was apparently detained by police for several hours and made to apologize for his rude behavior. I for one think that this is an excellent example of why Japan is a great place to live. Loud mouth pc idiots don't get treated with anything other than the firm hand they deserve. Kudos to the staff at the shrine for protecting their private property and kudos to the Japanese police who didn't let this guy weasel out of what he had done.

Hidingout, I know you dearly love Japan, but are you sure about that comment above?

Why was he detained at all? Why wasn't he simply escorted out of the premises, like what would happen in any other developed country?

See what happens to people with extreme views in Korea, for example (hint: nothing):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f87trjMI8gs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBVQ3nqV7jE

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

A lot of people are making a lot of things here, but this issue really just strikes at the heart of one fact: Japan still has a lot of trouble letting go of Uchi/Soto mentality and recognizing itself as a part of the world that must be self aware enough to discuss its actions with the international community, and recognize common ground enough to share some common moral ideals.

Many Japanese tend to respond to this (and other issues) in 1 or 2 ways: "it's none of the worlds business", which generally hides a second less commonly expressed and more honest sentiment: "we feel these people are heros". Once you get someone to admit they think that a war criminal is a hero then you can tend to persuade them to change, because they begin to admit the nature of their views to themselves. But as it stands, most Japanese who even have an opinion (apathy is another problem shared by many would be democracies), just will not 世界を相手にする。, which means that if you're not Japanese, there's no point in even talking to you because you couldn't possibly understand. Which of course they don't know because such individuals never talk to foreigners about it, etc. etc. ad nauseum. (conclusion: racism)

Clearly, this is not a rational way of thinking, but a technique for erecting a psychological barrier to simultaneously "protect" the speaker from the outside world and to cement their identity as a Japanese individual, in their own minds once again.

Once such individuals who practice mental "sakoku" are seen as the backwater holdouts from 160-some-odd years ago that they are, the nation can begin to consider this as a problem that at least deserves discussing. Though I am sure that some country some where will find another issue to talk about, that is the nature of international politics (and life: we find problems to fix them). But that does not mean that this issue should not be taken seriously.

Solution-wise, it wouldn't be that hard for the government to erect a non-religious memorial (which by the way is far more appropriate as it would separate church and state), which would exclude the souls of the problematic Kami in Yasukuni. Government officials would take a huge amount of diplomatic stress out of their jobs if they were to go THERE instead, and have a military or some kind of quasi-religious ceremony crafted to the nations tastes.

Currently, they instead choose to go en mass in the order of 100's and in the most visible way possible while refusing to even have dialogue with the countries holding claim. This is the diplomatic equivalent of a huge middle finger in the face.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Hidingout, I know you dearly love Japan, but are you sure about that comment above?

I wouldn't say I "dearly love" Japan. And yes, I'm sure about that comment.

Why was he detained at all?

He was detained because he deliberately provoked a confrontation, disrupted the worship of other law abiding citizens observing what he knew to be an important event, and was in general a pretentious dickhead. All on private property.

Why wasn't he simply escorted out of the premises?

Because that's not what should happen to someone who behaves as this individual did. There should be more serious consequences for people who act out publicly in inappropriate ways simply because they think their ideas are better than the ideas of other folks.

like what would happen in any other developed country?

You think so Mitch? Why don't you pick a holy day and go abuse officials at some big cathedral, or mosque, or maybe at the statue the activists erected in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. Get right up in their faces all smug like, as this person did in the video. You'll be lucky to get away with a talking to in any of those instances.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Justice Vanpool

Solution-wise, it wouldn't be that hard for the government to erect a non-religious memorial (which by the way is far more appropriate as it would separate church and state), which would exclude the souls of the problematic Kami in Yasukuni. Government officials would take a huge amount of diplomatic stress out of their jobs if they were to go THERE instead, and have a military or some kind of quasi-religious ceremony crafted to the nations tastes.

It sounds good in theory but it'll just provide fuel to the fire instigating that the ceremony is further proof that Japan is heading further into militarism.

Basically they will use anything and everything as evidence of their biased opinion.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

The 'normalcy' of Japan should originally be achieved through other means & ways -- these were what Japan has been good at after decades of correct efforts, generation on generation. Judging the current trajectory, the dire scenario is derived from three factors ( ignorance of the J-public about past history, J-politicians & J-media ). In a matter of 1-2 years, the "positive assets" ( for a normal nation ) cumulated since 60 years are being placed by a few on the gambling table by a few. The nation's 'normalcy' is just a few prayers away.. at Yasukuni ? May God bless Japan...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Germany will never become a fascist state again. Japan is well on its way.

Difference: One nation learns from its past. The other denies or downplays it.

And Yasukuni Shrine is NOT like Arlington Cemetary. Don't anyone dare compare. The official Yasukuni Shrine web site used to have statements blaming the U.S. for "forcing Japan into World War II" and portrays Japan as the "victim" of the war and atomic bombing. But it said nothing about the victims in Asia. Yasukuni is an ultra-rightist site that perpetuates offensive lies.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Germany will never become a fascist state again. Japan is well on its way.

I am so tired of Germany being held up as if its some model of sensitivity and remorse. Just last week the Germans basically told the rest of Europe to not bother mentioning anything about whose fault that whole nasty business was when they hold their various WWI memorials this month. The German Embassy in London came out with some real doozies ... the kind of comments that would have the communist sympathizers on this site screaming about negated apologies, deniers and nationalism run amok if they were made by a Japanese politician. Let me quote a few comments from the article.

Concerning the ceremonies ....

"British historians have called on the UK Government to acknowledge that the conflict was a just war to prevent German domination of Europe".

But Norman Walter, press attaché at the German embassy in London, said ‘it would be easier’ for Britain to adopt a ‘less declamatory tone’ if it wants Germany to take part. In an interview yesterday he said: ‘We can’t tell you how you should celebrate, but our feeling is that issues about who was guilty and all that should be left more or less to historians and shouldn’t feature dominantly in politicians’ speeches. We would prefer not to have any celebrations, having lost. We don’t want to commemorate the battles. We want to commemorate the dead.'".

In response, Philip Davies, who sits on the Culture Select Committee told the Mail: ‘This attitude is unacceptable. The Germans might want to forget their history and pretend things didn’t happen, but we are not prepared to do that. As for Europe being a cause of peace, this chap (Norman Walter of the German Embassy) has obviously forgotten the reaction Angela Merkel got from the Greeks the last time she went there. People dressed up in Nazi uniforms, accusing her of completing Hitler’s work. I don’t think people in Greece are celebrating peace. The European Union seems to be having the opposite effect.’

Wow ... imagine if the Japanese ever said something like that ....

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2396564/German-embassy-calls-Britons-celebrate-First-World-War-victory.html

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

WW1 is not quite as simple as WW2. Its just as easy to blame Russia and France for WW1. They put Germany in a very precarious position by making treaties with each other against Germany, especially when Russia mobilized its military in response to the situation in the Balkans. Germany felt it had to respond, and it did so by attempting to knock out France to avoid a two front war. I am no fan of pre-emptive strikes, but when your rival neighbor mobilizes troops, you can't just sit there.

It is very unfortunate that Europe parted with Bismark's balance of power principles. That kept peace in Europe for decades. Bismark was German you know. I think its rather biased to blame Germany for the war. But Germany truly has no excuse for invading neutral Belgium, where they committed many crimes aside from the war crime of invading a neutral nation.

Even WW2 can be blamed on the allies. While they enjoyed the roaring 20s, Germany was thrust into poverty by the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. Germany began the Great Depression 10 years before anyone else, and the Nazis could not have gone anywhere without that and there would have been no WW2. Even so, Germany again gets to keep her atrocities committed during the war.

Japan has no excuses at all though. None. They may have been miffed at America for refusing to sell them oil anymore, but that's just too bad. It was America's oil to sell to whom they wanted to. Those that started the war in the Pacific are just plain war criminals, yet many are enshrined at Yasukuni. Also there are war criminals enshrined there who committed atrocities directly. Germans do not pay respects to war criminals. Japanese do. Thus Germany is a very good example compared to Japan.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Many political and religious leaders, including Taiwan's President Lee, have visited the Yasukuni Shrine.

The spirit tablets of the 1,068 "war criminals" of the IJA have been housed in Vatican since May 1980, when Pope John Paul II held a special mass for them. The Yasukuni controversy began around 1984 and it's been 30 years since then.

China and Korea should stop their unfruitful political campaign. Japan is not going to be quiet any more, as many Japanese have finally realized that "peace at any cost" strategy would never work with Chinese and Koreans whose history education is jingoistic.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

For a look at the political and economic impact of the strained relationship between Japan and China, see this piece:

http://nipponmarketblog.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/japans-complex-relationship-with-china/

0 ( +0 / -0 )

CalvinMontblanc

So I guess none of the tariffs that was placed on imports as well as export from SE Asian colonies had no ill effect on Japanese economy during the 20's onwards or the damned effect of being rejected of the Racial Equality Proposal even though it gained a majority vote, or the Washington & London Naval Treaty which had discriminatory reduction quotas compared to US and or Great Britain.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Samurai, if you want your empire you have to accept that some countries are going to boycott or tariff your products. If that affects your economy, tough. There is no right of free international trade. It does not exist. Either you please your customer, or your customer takes a hike. Welcome to life.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

CalvinMontblanc

The tariff was placed BEFORE Japan went into offensive not after. It's called protectionism which was the root cause of all wars during that time. Nations not willing to sell natural resources to other nations at a fair price are going to get their collective arse kicked before long.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The issue at the heart of the Yasukuni Shrine is the automatic assumption by Japan's neighbors that ministers visit the shrine to honor WWII war "criminals". If you as a JT reader think this way your perspective is grossly skewed.

To learn about the Yasukuni Shrine, please read the article on nippon.com that explains the origins of the shrine and why it has symbolism today.

http://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/a02402/

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@wasabizuki

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. 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 ( +0 / -2 )

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