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Japan urges hotline with China; plays down shrine visit

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"China has said it is willing to talk to Japan about the issue but has accused Abe of not being serious about wanting to resolve the dispute."

The latter is obviously a given; Abe says he wants peace when intentionally visiting a war-shrine because China would not come to the table, white-washes history, goes to other nations to give them cash in exchange for isolating China, wants to get rid of article 9 in the constitution, increased defense spending to counter the 'China threat', says Nanjing never happened, and now wants to register another 280 islands as national assets simply in a move to counter the Chinese ADIZ.

Now, obviously ALL of those (and there's a whole lot more!) are efforts to improve ties with China, right, Abe?

3 ( +18 / -14 )

Abe's has tried playing both sides of the fence. Talk and act tough for the domestic Japan (and world) audience while at the same time reaching out to China in a conciliatory way. But it's doubtful the Chinese will take the bait. They have even more at stake politically with their domestic audience.

11 ( +13 / -3 )

Backstabbing. You make fun of someone, and then say you want to be friends.

7 ( +17 / -9 )

This is like slapping someone in the face and saying "lets talk this out". And then slapping them in the face. And again saying "lets talk this out, but stop whining".

9 ( +21 / -11 )

Too late... As a prime-minister, abe should have known that doing something that stupid in public (and in an official position) will kill all his chances. He was beyond stupid with that unnecessary gesture.

7 ( +15 / -7 )

No country has the right to tell another when and where the can pay respects to their lost. It's totally arrogant for Korea and China to even attempt this. Over 2,000,000 souls that also deserve respect , just because there are a few amongst them that are bad apples doesn't mean they shouldn't get what's deserved. If Abe was praying for the lost and world peace there's no better place to do it than there. Also people are seriously overlooking the damage China has inflicted on others in the past. Friggen hypocrites they are. Take a look at how China back stabbed the USA during the Korean War ..... Ambushed ! Greedy nation that builds it war machine with the sole purpose and intent of forcibly taking away weaker countries territories.

0 ( +12 / -13 )

The likelihood for Japanese envoys to sway the world’s opinions to believe Abe’s claims after his Yasukuni Shrine visiting is relative low at this point of time given Washington’s official reaction. In addition, I would seriously doubt that China will be interested in answering Onodera’s call to set up a hotline with Japan in near future.

Many Japanese people would be inclined to think that it is unfair that Abe might be an innocent victim of the crying-foul of Japan’s neighboring countries for seemingly a harmless traditional ritual practiced by many Japanese on daily basis. But to international community and especially the Asian counties Abe action amply showed that his nationalist agenda matters more than the pain and suffering caused by Japanese imperial forces in the first half of last century.

Whether or not Abe’s move is savvy political one on domestic front , it is still too early to tell. However, the world did take a notice on his true color and his articulated timing of the visit. Moreover, to convince either Japan’s friends or foes to believe Abe’s peace prayer in Yasukuni Shrine will be a hard sell. For instance, the French side did not show much of sympathy after Kishida's explained Abe's 'true intent' to his counterpart.

For people who are not aware: last year, Washington advised Abe specifically for not visiting Yasukuni Shrine, well, we know the rest the story now.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

EthanWilberJan. 10, 2014 - 09:52AM JST For people who are not aware: last year, Washington advised Abe specifically for not visiting Yasukuni Shrine, well, >we know the rest the story now.

That is correct. But what we must understand is that the reason for the US not wanting him to visit the shrine is only because China and South Korea will use it to keep fueling their anti-Japan policies. The U.S. does not believe that the visit represent anything more than just a visit, unlike China and South Korea who argue that it represents a return to pre-WWII militant imperialism, an utterly ridiculous notion.

"December 26, 2013 Japan is a valued ally and friend. Nevertheless, the United States is disappointed that Japan's leadership has taken an action that will exacerbate tensions with Japan's neighbors. The United States hopes that both Japan and its neighbors will find constructive ways to deal with sensitive issues from the past, to improve their relations, and to promote cooperation in advancing our shared goals of regional peace and stability. We take note of the Prime Minister’s expression of remorse for the past and his reaffirmation of Japan's commitment to peace."

http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/p/tp-20131226-01.html

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

I don't think Japanese public care much what France and US say about the shrine.

-16 ( +5 / -21 )

OssanAmerica, It’s rare that you’d agree with me. :)

Word of advice, please take a pinch of salt on the official statements, that is why we call them diplomatic or governmental sources. Case in point, do you remember when Chinese regime declared its controversial ADIZ ? Abe’s Admin was crying foul that Japan was offended gravely by knowing nothing about it ? The inconvenient truth would be … Well, I let you decide by yourself after you read this piece from the link below.

http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20140101p2a00m0na013000c.html

Please don’t spend time to rebut because you will waste your valuble time or mine for that matter. I can tell you this much: the US knew fully well what was cooking in the pot of the Chinese ADIZ before it went to public through the backdoor channel, yet the official statements of the US on that matter seemed to be otherwise. So it’s up to you.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

EthanWilberJan. 10, 2014 - 10:34AM JST

You are dead wrong. The world is angry against China because their ADIZ is defacto territorial air, not just they defaulted in informing neighbours. Aircrafts have freedom of flying in international air. Chinese ADIZ is unique in that aircrafts cannot fly freely even though it is outside of Chinese territorial air.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

EthanWilber

Thanks for your informative link. I have just realized that Japanese government have already known about PRC planning of ADIZ before it has become official announcement. Abe is cruel, cunning and deceptive as cunning wolf for pretending he has nothing to know about it. He has two faces for provoking near by neighbors and charm offensive to distance nations.

Abe will judged as the most inflammable and flip - flopping PM in the history.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Yet another news story on how Japan is being unfairly attacked by her neighbours, inviting Japanese and her supporters to bash her neighbours. Japanese media should give it a rest for a change.

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

"If we have chosen the position in life in which we can most of all work for mankind, no burdens can bow us down, because they are sacrifices for the benefit of all; then we shall experience no petty, limited, selfish joy, but our happiness will belong to millions, our deeds will live on quietly but perpetually at work, and over our ashes will be shed the hot tears of noble people," a 17-year-old boy wrote nearly 200 years ago.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@chucky3176 and maybe you can give the Japan bashing a rest. Abe has explained he visited the shrine to pray for peace. If you choose not to accept that, as China and South Korea have, that's your prerogative, but there's no need to insult and criticize Japan for it.

I hope something good comes out of this meeting with France's Foreign Minister and Defence Minister. More than just military hardware that is. It's getting pretty sickening to see China playing the victim card at every opportunity and doing whatever they can to inflame tensions while making themselves out to be victims of Japan's militarism, which doesn't really seem to exist anymore. People all around the world need to wake up and smell China's BS, and take a proactive stance against it. They make out Japan to be the monsters. To that I say: Chairman Mao. Japan's past actions pale in comparison to that genuine monster.

Well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see what will come of this. Obviously, China's going to throw yet another hissy fit. They complain every time a Japanese person opens his/her mouth it seems.

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

China should be the one to make the first move to appease all its neighbours including Japan. The SEA nations feel that china is a big bully and therefore China needs to make that move to bring about greater peace in the region. China should learn to be more humble in its dealings with its neighbours. Only then can trade and economic prosperity flourish in the region.

http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=924686&extra=

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Over 2,000,000 souls that also deserve respect , just because there are a few amongst them that are bad apples doesn't mean they shouldn't get what's deserved.

Over 1,000 class B war criminals, and even more class C war criminals are honoured and remembered there, not to mention 14 of the worst mass murderers.

Yasukuni has never been the same since they decided to secretly honour the war criminals.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Abe is playing this in the most cynically political way. He keeps pushing China knowing full well how they will react; China is an open book when it comes to international politics... they are belligerent, aggressive and demand fealty. Well that is perfect for Abe - the Japanese public are rallying to Abe's aid, frightened by China's induced sabre-rattling, and allowing Abe to run carte-blanche over Japanese rights and long-established norms.

Abe is able to do whatever he pleases it seems and the Japanese public are ready to lap it all up like the gullible children they have become. Kudos to Abe - he has manufactured this all brilliantly.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

will the handsets for the hotline be made in Japan or China?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Japan can not improve ties with a country that is hll bent on power, this has been China's dream from the beginning and why they sacrificed millions of Chinese lives for that dream alone.

It is China not wanting peace with its neighbors as we have seen China intimidate and forcing everyone back to their shores as they, CHINA shows no sign of living in peace with anyone! China's aggressive stance shows that only China sees better relations only by others bowing to their wishes. That should never be done and all should come together and push CHINA back to its shores and restore the peace in the region that China alone has destroyed!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

There is no "playing down" where nothing exists to downplay!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Mitch CohenJan. 10, 2014 - 12:22PM JST Over 2,000,000 souls that also deserve respect , just because there are a few amongst them that are bad apples >doesn't mean they shouldn't get what's deserved. Over 1,000 class B war criminals, and even more class C war criminals are honoured and remembered there, not to >mention 14 of the worst mass murderers. Yasukuni has never been the same since they decided to secretly honour the war criminals.

What invalidates this statement is that all throughout the 1980s when Japanese politicians visited Yasukuni there were no complaint from China or South Korea.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

What invalidates this statement is that all throughout the 1980s when Japanese politicians visited Yasukuni there were no complaint from China or South Korea.

And what do you make of the fact that the Japanese Emperor himself has never visited the shrine? If Yasukuni is truly nothing more than a shrine to remember those who died for Japan, the Emperor surely is the most appropriate person to visit?

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

We have Japan that has been a peace loving society since the end of the war, and only a self defence force to add to that, now look at China present and past. Their goals, their leadership, and the conditions the people of China had been forced to live under only as to uphold the power over the people by the communist regime that forced itself into power and took all away from the people, not just material ownership , but of rights. Then used a dictatorship system to rule and conform the minds of the people into a blindless nationalistic society that can see no wrong in their leaders as they are forced silent, live under censored news sources, internet blocking and filtering and deceitful teaching from birth till adulthood, then you have the free open society of Japan with access to all media around the world, history books and internet that is openly accessible, How is it possible for the people of CHina not to understand the in our face ridiculousness of this and their words and thoughts on these matters that is disrupting the peace in the region?? Why would the people of China today, not want peace and friendship as a guidance in their leadership and join the peace loving nations of the world based on rights and liberties of a free society? Will this ever evolve in Chinese society? Definitely not while China is ruled by the never ending elite that has been in power from the start!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@ tvytgo... your statement above could as easily be about Japan. I'm not sure you have really looked deeply enough at the politics of the situation.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Shinzo Abe knew the real meaning of 'Yasukuni shrine' has nothing to do with contemporary politics, what really matters is his political background has 'inheritaed' from Kishi Nobusuke, a notorious person who has run the Manchuko industrial by exploting and abusing of Chinese during the 1930s! Kishi has been lucky during his life time by escaping death or imprisonment but the Chinese is not going to give up their 'hunting' of war criminals. Now Mr Abe can feel the noose which hanged 'Eric Eichman' is close to him.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I always find this a very complex issue and pretty grey.

There are 2.5 million odd souls enshrined there, many of them just young men who answered the call of the country to go and do what they thought they should. Like young men all over the world do. As a collective they definitely did terrible things at times, which we all know.

There are 1068 Class A and B War Criminals there too - all people who went on trial for their deeds and were either punished by death or jail sentences. These people were tried by the Chinese, Americans, Canadians, Kiwis, British, Dutch, French, Russians, Australians, Indians, Philipinos and others, and paid for their crimes. I guess a question worth asking is, once you have paid for your crimes, how long do you have to continue to be punished for them? Is Japan still on trial for it's past? Do these countries, who conducted the trials at the time and had their chance to judge Japan for what it did in WW2 continue to have a moral right to determine who can and can't visit Yasukuni? I'm not sure they do.

I certainly think that forgiveness in general is important, but I think Japan has to play it's part in allowing that to happen.

To that end, the removal of these 1068 names from the register there would seem to me to be the most sensible course of action - at least certainly those of the Class A criminals, who were only added to the register in 1978. This would effectively kill off the fuss, and show a willingness to be sensitive to the people who take such issue with it. It also shows that the criminals are not venerated and that there is no subversive parallel reading of history - Japan should take care to show that it is on the same page as others in relation to this issue.

Until then, given the diplomatic trouble it causes Japan, I am inclined to think that a PM's visit is a stunt to appeal to the nationalists domestically, and therefore politically motivated. I don't like that.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Crazed in Japan. The whole point is not the war dead at Yasukuni, but the war criminals who are enshrined there. If Abe was serious about peace, he could simply have them enshrined elsewhere.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The J-Gov has ZERO control over shrines and temples, separation of church and state. When people understand that?

Thus the J-Gov can't move the war criminals but has already multiple times asked the priests to remove them.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

It is easy for you to say "don't visit the shrine" or "devide the souls there" or "go some other place instead" because your relatives or ancestors are not enshrined there or shintoism is not your religion or you don't live in Japan long enough.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

No country has the right to tell another when and where the can pay respects to their lost.

Actually every country has this right. Same as every country has the right to ignore what they are told. All will have to deal with the repercussions of said speaking/ignoring however, whatever they may be.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

yasukuni has been tainted since the war criminals were SNUCK in there, imo individuals going there to pray for THEIR relatives & those close to them no one can complain about.

But yasukuni is clearly a bad place to visit for politicians & other well known types as it patently obvious they go their to worship the dark side of yasukuni, when they say otherwise they are blatantly lying!

Kerry & Hagel showed the right thing to do they went to Chidorigafuchi, if abe & his ilk did the same we could possibly believe them, but going to yasukuni & saying its for peace & no more war.........sorry there may be a slight truth to that but its clearly 99.99999% to appease right wingers & hard core nationalist types & that doesn't go down well even with the US govt, clearly!

And of course the Emperor avoids yasukuni, smart guy the Emperor!

So Japan to sum it up I cant see China agreeing to set up a Bat-line with Japan anytime soon!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

@zichi, I wouldnt hold my breath. Abe as usual, is failing to take Japans international image into account.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

GWJan. 10, 2014 - 03:47PM JST

So Japan to sum it up I cant see China agreeing to set up a Bat-line with Japan anytime soon!

You need a hot line when the relation is really bad and hostility is just around the corner. I feel a bit better if there is a hot line.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Thus the J-Gov can't move the war criminals but has already multiple times asked the priests to remove them.

Well, they also have the option of constructing a new shrine elsewhere, one that wont upset China and South Korea. Cant say they are short of options

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Aussie-musashi.

A new monument won't have the kami enshrined and thus you can't pray for your ancestors there. Only Shinto priests can move the 'enshrined' to a new location.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Zichi.

I am aware of that and same has been proposed before.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well, they simply need to make the good priests of shinto understand that having the kami of war criminals enshrined there is upsetting to the peoples of east Asia. Moving the kami elsewhere would allow political leaders to pay their respects at Yasukuni without guilt or negative repercussions

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I see, they expect to receive a call from PRC before things happens... lol... that is funny.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Mitch CohenJan. 10, 2014 - 01:20PM JST "What invalidates this statement is that all throughout the 1980s when Japanese politicians visited Yasukuni there were no complaint from China or South Korea." And what do you make of the fact that the Japanese Emperor himself has never visited the shrine?

Nobody makes anything of it. It isn't a problem for anybody. Actually the Emperor has sent Emissaries. Whether he himself visits is for the Emperor to decide, just as any Japanese politicians choice of going to the shrine or not is their problem, not China or South Korea's. So how do you explain their silence over visits all through the 80s?

EthanWilberJan. 10, 2014 - 10:34AM JST OssanAmerica, It’s rare that you’d agree with me. :) Word of advice, please take a pinch of salt on the official statements, that is why we call them diplomatic or >governmental sources. Case in point, do you remember when Chinese regime declared its controversial ADIZ ? Abe’s >Admin was crying foul that Japan was offended gravely by knowing nothing about it ? The inconvenient truth would be >… Well, I let you decide by yourself after you read this piece from the link below. http://mainichi.jp/english/english/newsselect/news/20140101p2a00m0na013000c.html

The issue wasn't "not knowing about it" but "not being officially informed in advance", same as the United States and South Korea.

Please don’t spend time to rebut because you will waste your valuble time or mine for that matter.

You really shouldn't be posting in a public forum if you feel that way.

I can tell you this much: the US knew fully well what was cooking in the pot of the Chinese ADIZ before it went to >public through the backdoor channel, yet the official statements of the US on that matter seemed to be otherwise. So >it’s up to you.

If you are saying that we should all reject every official statement issued by governments, then good luck. Thanks for the link although I don't see it having any bearing on this issue.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Is there anyone from China and S. Korea that has actually pondered what the accusations are about? That is, besides the act of accusing with any means possible. Is the Yasukuni a symbol for everything that is wrong between the nations? Or is it Abe´s visit that is the problem? Is it the shrine itself? Is it the religion? Is the idea of a spirit the same as as an acting living person? Can you put a spirit on trial? If not is everyone living guilty by association? Do you have to be religious in order to understand what a spirit means? Is a personal memory of a relative that was convicted for war-crimes also provocative to China and S.K? Is the concept of Japan itself the problem? If Abe and his predecessors says they are sorry for what their ancestors did a long time ago - then the answer is that he or they are not serious or honest. I wonder what honest is? Who defines it? Obviously some people can't let go of the past. I think it says itself that Japan will never apologize in any other way than their own. If that is not good enough then the issue risks becoming a non issue. It sure would be interesting to see something substantial about how to improve the relations rather than the hopeless blame-game.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Ossan: "It isn't a problem for anybody. Actually the Emperor has sent Emissaries. Whether he himself visits is for the Emperor to decide, just as any Japanese politicians choice of going to the shrine or not is their problem, not China or South Korea's. So how do you explain their silence over visits all through the 80s?"

Better yet, how do you explain your taking offense to a memorial for sex-slaves made in the US, which Japanese politicians protest against?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@ Sentiments

I just want touch on one point and you posed the question: "Can you put a spirit on trial?" - Sure if you have a weegie board!

No seriously, the entire Yasukuni Shrine debacle boils down to the 14 War Criminals "Names" that were written into the "Book of Souls" that is kept at Yasukuni Shrine sometime in the 1980's.

You all know that there are no human remains at Yasukuni Shrine right?

It's the "Book of Souls" that has the 2 Million plus names of ALL who died in the service of the Emperor.

It's their names that are enshrined at Yasukuni.

But you cannot just erase a few bad names to please 2 Nations that were the victims of a few names in the book.

Once the names are entered in the "Book of Souls" and according to Shinto belief (the religion of Japan) they merge with the "Kami" - The Shrines God.

Then all the souls regardless of rank, they become equal with that God - in regards to Yasukuni -They become "War Gods".

Therefore the names can never be removed.

This cast a whole different light on Yasukuni Shrine in the eyes of China and South Korea. They feel that by the Japanese doing this, they think that the Japanese were honoring the War Criminals by giving them "War God" status.

That's the Red Herring that haunts Japan today from China and South Korea.

...and it can never be fixed.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

If ABE insist his visit to Yasukuni is not about worshiping the war criminals but rather about paying respect to the general 2.5 mil war dead than why not REMOVE the criminals to another place. This will instantly lift some tensions and slightly extinguish Abe's sheer arrogance.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

You can't remove the names of the war criminals and you can't stop visiting the shrine. Then you spent billions upon billions trying to justify your visit and buying understanding. I wonder if the dead criminals know much they are costing Japan, in terms of public relations and lost exports! If war ever breaks and millions die, these war criminals must be laughing all the way in hell!

2 ( +4 / -1 )

Shinzo Abe and his whole jing gang have proven themselves unreliable and dishonest to spend time with for any discussion. Therefore no ' hot ' line is needed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And what do you make of the fact that the Japanese Emperor himself has never visited the shrine? If Yasukuni is truly nothing more than a shrine to remember those who died for Japan, the Emperor surely is the most appropriate person to visit?

Because the emperor is an heir of a war crime as well

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japanese seem to have started grasping on hands in diplomatic photo-ops recently, I guess in order to imply solidarity against with Japan against China. But all that hand pulling must feel quite freakish to the French.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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