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Abe sends ritual offering to Yasukuni Shrine on World War II surrender anniversary

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Japanese ruling party LDP deleted this sentence from their memorial day statement in this year.

"Maintain basic values such as Freedom,Democracy,Fundamental Human Rights,Rule of Law"

So what do you think about that?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Japanese Prime Minister avoided Yasukuni Shrine this year,

but He visited local shrine where is origin of Yasukuni Shrine. 

Japanese ruling party LDP deleted this sentence from their memorial day statement in this year.

"Maintain basic values such as Freedom,Democracy,Fundamental Human Rights,Rule of Law"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It all boils down to this: should the top person in government pay his respects to the people killed in WW2? The answer is a resounding yes. and there is a place its called Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery it actually hold remains of soldiers and civilians who have died in wars, The emperor and his family go there and steer clear of Yasukuni Shrine, even Abe has gone there but still Abe send his offering and sends his buddies and wife in his place to appease their right wing base to snub China and Korea its as simple as that.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@ ksteer

You're comment just proves my point and exactly why I suggested going to visit it. You can't truly understand history without first understanding how its portrayed by both sides involved. If you just refuse to try and understand the perspective of one side, than you're simply naive.

As any American museum portrays the Pacific theatre one-sided too I'll fully agree with your phrase above. I've never visited a historical museum in the US so I don't dare to argue about that given your background as a scholar.

As a continental European I compare the historical display in the Yushukan, the 'very interesting museum attached', with how the Germans display their history of a dark era.

I agree with the view that the 'Greater East Asia War' ended colonialism in South-East Asia, an argument often used by the Japanese although their real objective was securing the oil- and commodities supply chain.

The Japanese have all rights to worship their war deaths but all the war related issues as comfort women, Nanking Massacre etc. stay alive as long as their describing of history shows gaps.

Japans largest hotel chain APA, has a copy of 'The Real History of Japan', written by the CEO Toshio Motoya available in every room. In the booklet the Nanking Massacre, the comfort women issue etc are denied. The fact that Motoya has links with Shinzo Abe and other Diet members is interesting.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

wtfjapan's comment is incredibly spot on. Any right winger on here should simply refer to that.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Not at all. I'm simply saying that since war criminals will be present at Yasukuni regardless of whether these few Class-A names are removed, there isn't really a compelling reason to demand that Abe immediately stop making his offering to the other 99.9% of non-war criminals.

Yeah, only removing the class A war criminals makes no sense - remove them all.

I'm not clear if the war criminals you are referring to as being present even if the class A war criminals were removed are the class B and C war criminals, or others that you believe to have committed war crimes but were not convicted. If it's the former, then as I said above, get rid of them all. If it's the latter, then how can we know that any of those remaining are war criminals, if they weren't convicted of any war crimes?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Joe YanToday  04:28 pm JST

Anyone know why the war criminals were enshrined at Yasukuni? Who ordered it and for what reason?

The head priest, Nagayoshi Matsudaira, who was also a former Imperial Navy officer, disagreed with the verdicts of the Tokyo War Crimes trials and had them enshrined in a secret ceremony in 1978.

How hare can it be to remove those name?

It's impossible, apparently. Convenient, eh?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Anyone know why the war criminals were enshrined at Yasukuni? Who ordered it and for what reason? How hare can it be to remove those name?

Its such shame. So many soldiers died serving their country and Japan doesn't even have a proper place to pay respect to them. Anyone who goes to Yasukuni Shrine is automatically labeled as a right-wing nationalist.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Beliefs that were mostly made up in the Meiji era when Yasukuni was dedicated, you mean? As a way to entice poor country boys into the army?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

That's fairly common knowledge, why would you assume someone didn't know?

Im not sure its fairly common knowledge. I just asked 10 Japanese people in my office and only 5 of them actually knew that. The reason I assumed someone doesnt know that is because if they did, they wouldnt suggest removing the names. That is of course, if they had respect for Shintoism.

Yes we have often been told about the convenient tradition that would prevent this logical solution to the problem (i.e. removing the names). Whatever rules were created by people can just as easily be changed by people.

I dont think it was likely created to be a "convenient" tradition. It makes sense in Shinto beliefs. Unless you're a practitioner of said religion do you really have a say in any of its rules? To change a fundamental rule of Shinto like this one, would mean creating an almost entirely new religion.

To people that don't follow the religion, like myself, it does make sense. I concede that. However, I dont have a right nor a perspective to suggest that and as such respect how Shinto beliefs work.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Yes we have often been told about the convenient tradition that would prevent this logical solution to the problem (i.e. removing the names). Whatever rules were created by people can just as easily be changed by people.

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ksteerToday  03:25 pm JST

"War criminals are by definition not war dead and so they do not belong there. Remove the names and the problem is solved."

Heres something I bet you don't know. It goes against Shinto religion to remove a name that has been enshrined. Even if the current Head Priest thinks they should be removed, he can't, even though has the final say-so about who is enshrined and not.

That's fairly common knowledge, why would you assume someone didn't know?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Netgrump

The Yushukan displays a one-sided view on the Greater Asian War so your paternalistic recommendation shows only that your lack the knowledge to 'understand both sides.'

Much like any American museum portrays the Pacific theater. Kind of rich that you're claiming I lack the knowledge to understand both sides when I literally have spent the last 8 years of my life studying these exact things. Masters in History with a specialization in East Asian History, but you wouldn't have been able to know that.

You're comment just proves my point and exactly why I suggested going to visit it. You can't truly understand history without first understanding how its portrayed by both sides involved. If you just refuse to try and understand the perspective of one side, than you're simply naive.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

War criminals are by definition not war dead and so they do not belong there. Remove the names and the problem is solved.

Heres something I bet you don't know. It goes against Shinto religion to remove a name that has been enshrined. Even if the current Head Priest thinks they should be removed, he can't, even though has the final say-so about who is enshrined and not.

To be enshrined at Yasukuni, means to be added to the one seat available to the "souls" since it isnt a shrine representing a "God". As such, according to Shinto beliefs, once a soul is enshrined it is now part of the entirety of the essence of the seat enshrined at Yasukuni. To remove a soul from Yasukuni would mean removing all souls. So even if they wanted to remove a name from the list, they ultimately can't.

The Shrine, is ultimately, a religious symbol and the priest's job is to continue to honor those religious rules.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

There wouldn't have been any bombing if Japan would not have started a war and refused to capitulate even after German did. The Japanese population was totally brain washed, the entire nation was irrational, how do you cope with this? You can't just turn the madness of a nation and its criminals to victims.

The US wanted to use the bombs on Germany but the war in Europe ended before they were ready.

Back to the photo and are those people releasing doves at Yasukuni to be condemned as right wing nutters? Or are they just ordinary members of the public releasing doves to show peace and respect for all war dead?

There are 49 war criminals 'enshrined' there... and several thousand others, both military and civilian... they are not all venerating the war criminals.

As for a brutal army... yes, they were, but why is it okay to forgive a German soldier and not a Japanese one? Both were conscripted at an early age, given minimal training and sent off to war. Not all German and Japanese soldiers were baby-killing murderers and rapists.

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thepersoniamnow: "It’s about remembering those who died in war."

No, it's about remember the JAPANESE who died in the war, and were killed by "the West" in their attempts to "save Asia". At least, that's what the museum, on the grounds, and many of the cos-play morons parading around it. It is about how "the West was wrong," about, "How they were not war criminals" (just look at Tojo's dolt of a granddaughter, who denies Nanjing and other war crimes), and about ultra-right ideology fuelled by insecurity and hate. You ever notice how the Emperor does not visit, but instead goes to honour the dead at a neutral site? THAT is why people like Abe are rightly criticised when claiming countries like SK don't live up to deals, then goes and prays for war criminals.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

And I think the demands on Abe are equally symbolic. After the Class-A's are removed the demand will be that he not go until the B's and the C's are removed and then a whole list of people who were never prosecuted and the ordinary soldiers involved in questionable operations, etc etc.

I haven't actually heard a lot of people say that he can go after the Class-A's are removed. In my opinion, the shrine is tainted as long as it's operated by Japan's revisionist right-wing and seen as a symbol for them. Even if any changes were made, images are hard to shake. That's just how it is.

If Abe was sincere about repairing relationships with Japan's neighbors, he'd choose another place to send offerings like many Japanese people manage to do.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

War criminals are by definition not war dead and so they do not belong there. Remove the names and the problem is solved.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@M3M3M3

Better not arguing the issue, you seem to be one of the few people in this thread that have any shred of common sense about the issue. I commend you for that.

It all boils down to this: should the top person in government pay his respects to the people killed in WW2? The answer is a resounding yes. What the IJA did in WW2 isnt the best of things, however history is history and war is war, each side committed atrocities. There is no right or wrong in the Pacific theater unless you believe everything the American history books tell you. The only thing that can be done is to apologize, and then to continue to honor the deceased. Not necessarily because of what they stood for, but because of the terrible loss of life that occurred on all sides.

Stopping going to Yasukuni is akin to forgetting the war even happened in the first place. Itd be more of an insult than anything else. Visiting the shrine is not necessarily an admittance of guilt or praise for the morally dubious people that happen to be enshrined there, but rather a way to remember and reflect about what the war cost.

On a different note, I urge anyone that is actually interested in history to go and visit Yasukuni. Its a beautiful shrine with a very interesting museum attached. Just remember to understand both sides of the situation and stay neutral.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@Strangerland

Your argument seems to be that because maybe everyone wasn't properly tried as a war criminal, it means that those who were tried shouldn't be thought of as guilty

Not at all. I'm simply saying that since war criminals will be present at Yasukuni regardless of whether these few Class-A names are removed, there isn't really a compelling reason to demand that Abe immediately stop making his offering to the other 99.9% of non-war criminals. If we knew for sure that the Class-A's were the only war criminals at Yasukuni, it might make for a more convincing argument.

I actually think Class-B and C war criminals are far more reprehensible. They were the ones actually torturing POWs and raping civilians. Class-A's were working from an office in Tokyo and were only convicted for a crime that was basically invented by the allies after the war; 'crimes against peace'. Many legal scholars find the Tokyo Tribunals dubious.

@MrBum

Critics say it symbolizes Japan's nationalistic revisionist right-wing

And I think the demands on Abe are equally symbolic. After the Class-A's are removed the demand will be that he not go until the B's and the C's are removed and then a whole list of people who were never prosecuted and the ordinary soldiers involved in questionable operations, etc etc.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Yasukuni is not just about war criminals’ ashes. It is above all a repository of fake history that makes imperial Japan a hero of the war it started and victim of the people it hurt.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

But if you concede that many possible war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni were never brought to justice, and that it's not just Class-A war criminals that are morally reprehensible, and that thousands of potential war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni were never prosecuted, it raises question of whether the demands for Abe to suspend his offering are reasonable.

You're getting caught up in details. It's about what the shrine represents. There's probably very few people on either side that are thinking about percentages of actual war criminals.

Critics say it symbolizes Japan's nationalistic revisionist right-wing, because it's largely operated and funded by Japan's nationalistic revisionist right-wing who also flock to it.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The complaint about Abe making the offering is that the shrine includes Class-A war criminals. The demand is that he stop making the offering until those specific Class-A war criminals are somehow removed. But if you concede that many possible war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni were never brought to justice, and that it's not just Class-A war criminals that are morally reprehensible, and that thousands of potential war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni were never prosecuted, it raises question of whether the demands for Abe to suspend his offering are reasonable. That is the issue I'm addressing.

Ok, I get what you're saying, but even after reading that, I still disagree. It's the same logical fallacy of 'why are they punishing this guy, when they haven't punished that guy' - that logic means no one can ever be punished, since there will always be another 'that guy'. Your argument seems to be that because maybe everyone wasn't properly tried as a war criminal, it means that those who were tried shouldn't be thought of as guilty, since others who may have been guilty were not also charged with war crimes. If those who were convicted of war crimes have their names stricken from Yasukuni, then the certified war criminals will have been removed. Sure, others may also be war criminals, but that's only speculation since they were not tried.

I think Abe would be better off avoiding Yasukuni altogether though.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@Strangerland

It doesn't open up any can of worms. People who were found guilty of being class-A war criminals are war criminals, there isn't doubt on that. The only doubt you've raised is whether or not some other people who would appear have done war-crime level actions are war criminals or not. But that doesn't make the people who were guilty any less of war criminals.

It does open a can of worms, but you've actually missed the issue which is whether the offering should be made by Abe. Nobody is debating whether convicted war criminals are convicted war criminals. That is pretty straightforward.

The complaint about Abe making the offering is that the shrine includes Class-A war criminals. The demand is that he stop making the offering until those specific Class-A war criminals are somehow removed. But if you concede that many possible war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni were never brought to justice, and that it's not just Class-A war criminals that are morally reprehensible, and that thousands of potential war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni were never prosecuted, it raises question of whether the demands for Abe to suspend his offering are reasonable. That is the issue I'm addressing. Since 99.9% of the soldiers enshrined there are ordinary servicemen who are probably deserving of Abe's offering, and removing just a few specific names will not guarantee the removal of the vast majority of potential war criminals, is it reasonable to demand that Abe not make an offering until those few Class-A names are removed? Isn't that disproportionate given the numbers and the fact that Abe has no control over who is removed?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Clueless, absolutely clueless

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I think people really need to realise that any argument based on the fact someone is a Class-A war criminal simply opens a can of worms. Neither Hitler, Himmler or Goebbels were ever convicted of any war crimes (for obvious reasons).

It doesn't open up any can of worms. People who were found guilty of being class-A war criminals are war criminals, there isn't doubt on that. The only doubt you've raised is whether or not some other people who would appear have done war-crime level actions are war criminals or not. But that doesn't make the people who were guilty any less of war criminals.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I think people really need to realise that any argument based on the fact someone is a Class-A war criminal simply opens a can of worms. Neither Hitler, Himmler or Goebbels were ever convicted of any war crimes (for obvious reasons). If you think it would be equally inappropriate for Yasukuni to enshrine these 3 men, you need to come up with a different standard than Class-A war criminal (and it's probably going to be a subjective one which many people will disagree with).

@wtfjapan

victors get to dictate who is and isnt a war criminal has been this way since people have fought wars.

I agree, but it still leaves many unresolved moral questions that probably cannot be resolved.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

"This good! Comfort Women statues bad!"

6 ( +10 / -4 )

But who is a war criminal? Only those who were tried and convicted?

there may have been more but unfortunately you cant catch everybody, victors get to dictate who is and isnt a war criminal has been this way since people have fought wars.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

there are no war criminals enshrined there.

ah wrong again. the whole debacle was instigated by the head priest political ideology to enshrine class A war criminals to discredit the Tokyo trials.

A Head Priest’s Ideological Agenda

The impasse continued until Tsukuba’s sudden death in March 1978. Matsudaira Nagayoshi (1915–2005) was installed as head priest in July that year.

It is worth going over Matsudaira Nagayoshi’s background. His grandfather, Matsudaira Yoshinaga (1828–90), was the feudal lord of the Fukui domain. In the last days of the Tokugawa shogunate, Yoshinaga called for a merger of the shogunate and the imperial court. After the shogunate fell, he was granted a position inside the new Meiji government. Matsudaira’s father, Yoshitami (1882–1948), was the last minister of the Imperial Household. Matsudaira himself was a lieutenant commander in the Imperial Navy during World War II and an officer in the Self-Defense Forces after World War II. His father-in-law, Daigo Tadashige, was a vice admiral in the Imperial Navy. He was tried by the Dutch after the war, convicted of Class B and C war crimes, and executed by rifle shot. He is listed among the war dead honored at Yasukuni Shrine.*(6)**

Matsudaira unequivocally rejected the verdict of the tribunal and argued that the Tokyo Trials had produced a distorted view of history that cast Japan as the sole villain. He was determined from the outset to enshrine Japan’s Class A war criminals at Yasukuni. This was part of an ideological crusade to discredit the Tokyo Trials. Once appointed, he moved quickly. In a secret ceremony on October 17, 1978—just three months after becoming head priest—he enshrined all 14, including Matsuoka and Nagano.*(7)**

When the story broke in April the following year, the public reaction was relatively muted. But controversy erupted with a vengeance six years later, when Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro became the first postwar prime minister to pay homage at the shrine in an official capacity. When Nakasone and his cabinet visited Yasukuni on August 15, 1985 to mark the fortieth anniversary of the end of World War II, the visit unleashed a storm of criticism from Japan’s Asian neighbors. The next year Nakasone agreed not to visit the shrine in deference to the views of Chinese leader Hu Yaobang. From that time on, visits by cabinet officials to Yasukuni Shrine have been a hot-button issue, drawing intense criticism from abroad and stymying diplomatic progress between Japan and its neighbors.

The ultimate source of this ongoing conflict was the enshrinement of Class A war criminals in 1978. And the enshrinement of this group cannot be attributed simply to religious or filial impulses. In fact, it was a blatantly ideological and political act driven by an urge to justify and legitimize a highly controversial chapter in Japanese history.

https://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/a02404/

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Move the war criminals and pray for the rest.

But who is a war criminal? Only those who were tried and convicted?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Abe keep fooling his conservatives believer, just disgusting!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Wallace Fred

Thanks for the reply. My issue is how we find some consistency and equal treatment here, because every country honours war dead who engaged in some fairly shady business. Your standard seems to be that anyone formally convicted of war crimes, plus those who you believe the evidence shows planned to subjugate Asia should not be included at Yusukuni. The first part of this standard is objective and workable, but the second part seems quite subjective and arbitrary since it could extend to almost every Japanese serviceman who was involved in the war. Limiting it to only the most senior commanders while ignoring ordinary soldiers torturing POWs would also seem very arbitrary.

As a practical solution, if every country commemorated every soldier and commander in their war memorials (war criminal or not), it would actually be a very reasonable way to avoid decades of international disputes and hostilities about who should or shouldn't be included, and it would also be a way to ensure that people didn't whitewash the uglier parts of their history. The fact that unsavory people are included at Yasukuni probably does alot more to raise awareness of what happened during the war than if they were to be excluded and forgotten. At least that's my opinion.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Honoring A class war criminals isn't the best look Mr Abe.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Move the war criminals and pray for the rest.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

And this is why Japan will always need to apologize; honoring war criminals and denying atrocities still makes you the bad guy, as they were. And these cos-play nutters... they would be the first to run and hide if war broke out.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

It's obvious to the right-wing politicians that make clueless comments and the black-van army cosplayers what the shrine stands for. The only people that don't seem to understand are their apologists.

Absolutely right. There are of course ordinary citizens who go to Yasukuni with an honorable and honest motive: to pay respects to their own ancestors.

--Unlike the politicians who go there en masse and tell the press ahead of time (i.e., sending a dog whistle to their rightist supporters). And unlike the nationalist yakuza thugs or old guys who like to dress up in vintage military gear and long for a return to fascist empire.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

The Class A war criminals are only a symptom of the main problem with the shrine, that problem being what the shrine stands for.

It's obvious to the right-wing politicians that make clueless comments and the black-van army cosplayers what the shrine stands for. The only people that don't seem to understand are their apologists.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Nice recommendation @bruinfan but its will most assuredly fly over most people's heads.

@M3M3M3

Do you think Yasukuni would be acceptable remembrance shrine if it didn't include Class A war criminals? Yes. Praising individuals that wreaked terror on east and south east asia while all the while claiming to have learnt a lesson from it all is disingenuous.

Do you recognise that there were thousands of soldiers (perhaps tens of thousands) on both sides who committed war crimes but were never prosecuted? Oh YES! I have my gripe with this issue too but thats another column at another time.

Is it only the formal conviction for Class A war crimes at the Tokyo Tribunal that is the deciding factor for you on whether inclusion at Yasukuni is appropriate? No. Its the documented record regarding the plans for the subjugation of east and south asia by the said individuals and signed off by the emperor ofcourse.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@Wallace Fred

I'm really curious about your views on this since you seem to be passionate about the topic. Do you think Yasukuni would be acceptable remembrance shrine if it didn't include Class A war criminals? Do you recognise that there were thousands of soldiers (perhaps tens of thousands) on both sides who committed war crimes but were never prosecuted? Is it only the formal conviction for Class A war crimes at the Tokyo Tribunal that is the deciding factor for you on whether inclusion at Yasukuni is appropriate?

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Yasukuni is thousands of years old.

It isn’t a WWII shrine.

I think Japan can do what they want as far as war dead memorials because as far as I can see, the connection between Yasukuni and Imperialism and not atoning for war crimes is not there.

It’s about remembering those who died in war.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

I see the rightist cosplay nutters are having a day out.

Good to see them have a day in the fresh air.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

Good to see so many people and patriots at Yasukuni to pay their respects to that brave generation

-11 ( +11 / -22 )

Showing respects to Class A war criminals is lower than low.

Yasukuni is just a list, it's like a roll call. And since NO ONE can control spirits simple enough to make a new list without Class A's and other war criminals and allow people to separate the monsters who perpetrated a Holocaust in Asia from the rest of the fallen.

By comparison, where Hitler is buried, it's a parking lot.

1 ( +19 / -18 )

"why are these "war criminals" more so than the people who...?"

How about those in charge who ordered the execution of Okinawan civilians? They were their own countrymen for goodness sake.

7 ( +20 / -13 )

Good to hear a big turnout to honour Japan's soldiers. although Abe should really be going in person

-6 ( +14 / -20 )

Those additional pictures ... It makes me feel uneasy somehow.

-2 ( +14 / -16 )

Japan has the right to honor its war dead, just like any other country.

-3 ( +18 / -21 )

Arrogant and recalcitrant, Abe continues to tap on Japan nationalism to collect his extra political chip.

7 ( +25 / -18 )

Yes sure shameless and disgraceful nationalists showing respects to Class A war criminals who perpetrated crimes such as attack on neutral powers, mass killing, human experimentation, use of chemical weapons, torture and execution of war prisoners, cannibalism, forced labor, sexual slavery and perfidy.

This is why any half-hearted gestures guised as acts of contrition will always fall on deaf ears.

Anything short of the German model is kicking the can downhill.

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

On the flip side of things, why are these "war criminals" more so than the people who ordered the atomic bombs be dropped on innocent civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

There wouldn't have been any bombing if Japan would not have started a war and refused to capitulate even after German did. The Japanese population was totally brain washed, the entire nation was irrational, how do you cope with this? You can't just turn the madness of a nation and its criminals to victims.

-3 ( +17 / -20 )

Well done PM Abe. Showing your respects to the victims of that awful war, just like all Japanese have a RIGHT too.

Yes sure shameless and disgraceful nationalists showing respects to Class A war criminals who perpetrated crimes such as attack on neutral powers, mass killing, human experimentation, use of chemical weapons, torture and execution of war prisoners, cannibalism, forced labor, sexual slavery and perfidy.

Japanese have the right to show respect to the civilian victims of the war that they inflicted on themselves. But no they don't have the right to show respect towards any member of a brutal army and regime that brought devastation to Asia. Period.

0 ( +20 / -20 )

Excellent to hear the PM honouring the glorious war dead of Japan. As PM of the nation, he would be a fool or a traitor not to honour the nation's war dead

-5 ( +16 / -21 )

Past visits by Japanese leaders to Yasukuni have outraged China and South Korea

But neither have ever complained about them sending an offering. Which begs the question of why Reuters felt this was a "story" at all.

5 ( +18 / -13 )

maybeperhapsyesToday 09:25 am JST

Every other country’s leaders pay their respect in this way

there are no war criminals enshrined there.

Remember that.

Reagan Joins Kohl in Brief Memorial at Bitburg Graves

"BITBURG, West Germany, May 5 — President Reagan presided over a wreath-laying today at the base of a brick cemetery tower looming over the graves of nearly 2,000 German soldiers, including 49 SS troops."

https://www.nytimes.com/1985/05/06/world/europe/reagan-joins-kohl-in-brief-memorial-at-bitburg-graves.html

7 ( +17 / -10 )

I dont see why people cant be more reasonable like this. Even if there are 14 "war criminals" who are enshrined the countless number of normal soldiers being enshrined also deserve to be honored. Did they fight for perhaps a wrong cause, history says yes. But other than that, these soldiers were sons, fathers, brothers and otherwise normal individuals. Not everyone in the German military was a Nazi, just like not everyone in the IJA was a war criminal. Japanese people have a right, and a duty, to respect those who lost their lives to situations such as conscription etc. Was the war a terrible thing? Absolutely. But just honoring the dead doesnt mean there isnt any atonement.

On the flip side of things, why are these "war criminals" more so than the people who ordered the atomic bombs be dropped on innocent civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Lets face it, both sides had "war criminals" the only difference is that the winning side gets to dictate whether they are or not.

4 ( +22 / -18 )

I hope future generations and future leaders will realize that there were more victims outside of Shrines who were victims of those in Shrines.

4 ( +23 / -19 )

True.

Every other country’s leaders pay their respect in this way

there are no war criminals enshrined there.

Remember that.

-1 ( +22 / -23 )

Well done PM Abe. Showing your respects to the victims of that awful war, just like all Japanese have a RIGHT too.

-12 ( +22 / -34 )

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