politics

Abe sends ritual offering to Yasukuni Shrine for war dead

57 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

57 Comments
Login to comment

Abe is manipulative. He is using Shrine to play Japanese people and their feelings. Abe is selfish, he is risking Japanese national interests for his personal benefits. Abe is dangerous, he insults neighbors year after year, time after time. Abe must be stopped.

10 ( +27 / -17 )

Akie, with respect, you are incorrect to use this as an example if you are connecting it with the election or popularity , as this is the time of year it is done every year, and Abe has done this all his life. Remembering ones war dead is as good a reason to remind us all the reasons not to have another war.

-8 ( +16 / -24 )

Oh just before an election and nuclear war in Asia - he's getting pretty bold ain't he?

6 ( +17 / -11 )

@wildwest With all respects, Abe could choose the election date long before or long after. The connection is so obvious.

11 ( +19 / -8 )

Keep POing other countries to stay in power and keep votes

0 ( +7 / -7 )

@gogogo

Surely, “PingO”, no?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

All Japanese must visit Yasukuni Shrine without any fear of annoying xyx countries. More you fear , more these countries will continue to pin you down on this issue . Show more pictures of inside shrine for the benefit of those from overseas who have not seen or visited the shrine.

-4 ( +16 / -20 )

Send an offering, go visit whatever. Why does the western press always harp on reporting it always mentioning China and South Korea, even when they are quiet about it? Asia is facing a crisis right now making this kind of story utterly irrelevant "news", if we can call it that.

-3 ( +13 / -16 )

I am not a big fun of Abe nor Yasukuni, but he has a right to visit there, because his grand father, Nobusuke Kishi, was once convicted as A-class criminal, later managed to release.

seen in China and the two Koreas as a symbol of Japan's past militarism, to mark its annual autumn festival, the shrine said on Tuesday.

Only Korea and China which are hypcrite with their own problems, have seen it that way.

They simpify equation conveniently

"Yasukuni= Tojo's grave".

The truth is far more complicated, Koreans and Taiwanees are also honored there, it is all about "togetherness at the war".

"Yasukuni= "grave for  those who fought for war ".

Note: Koreans were also executed as war criminal by the US and honored there.

-7 ( +13 / -20 )

@hachikou

It isn’t anybody’s grave....

10 ( +15 / -5 )

it always mentioning China and South Korea, even when they are quiet about it

Maybe you're just not listening carefully......oh wait, but why would you listen to them anyways, right?

Asia is facing a crisis right now making this kind of story utterly irrelevant "news", if we can call it that.

The thing is, this is relevant. These type of political stunts have ramifications, domestic and abroad. Asia has always been facing a crisis, and this offering isn't helping the situation either.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

The thing is, this is relevant. These type of political stunts have ramifications, domestic and abroad. Asia has always been facing a crisis, and this offering isn't helping the situation either.

Agree with you PBot. With the extremely high tensions in Asia right now, this offering is stupid at best and reckless at worst.

7 ( +14 / -7 )

Every visit by every official and every offering by the PM merely reminds the world that Japan is a defeated nation, a nation which started a war of aggression, and a nation which reveres those who have committed heinous acts of terror and degradation. It reminds us all that Japan is a nation devoid of honour.

-10 ( +7 / -17 )

If Abe were indeed interested in peace, he should also honor those millions of civilians slaughtered by the Japanese imperial army.

Abe is a dangerous militarist and could easily provoke another war with China like Hideki Tojo.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Isn't it interesting how the winners get to call the losers "war criminals?"

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

I no longer consider "ritual offerings" to Yasukuni Shrine "controversial" or "provocative". He has every right to do so, and as PM he has a duty to honour Japan's war dead like they do in every other nation on Earth

3 ( +13 / -10 )

ThePBotToday  12:40 pm JST

These type of political stunts have ramifications, domestic and abroad. Asia has always been facing a crisis, and this offering isn't helping the situation either.

But it is helping Abe to win on October 22nd by keeping all the geriatric ultra-conservatives happy, which is all he really cares about.

Vernon WattsToday  01:57 pm JST

Isn't it interesting how the winners get to call the losers "war criminals?"

There's a simple way to prevent that from happening. Don't start a war you can't possibly win like the Japanese did.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Ha....here we go again. Why is the media wasting time on this old story, when a more interesting story is the lack of creative thinking - especially with an election one week away. It is a waste of energy to try and change people with emotional blocks. I would suggest a better tactic for the media is run stories about creative thinking and why it is important to become more aware about the world around us. Which reporter will be brave enough to focus on this story.........I will wait.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

It's perfectly understandable to remember soldiers who died in a war, however mistaken the war.

What's hard to understand is how four acting or formers prime ministers, Hara Taka, Inukai Tsuyoshi, Saitoh Makaoto, and Takahashi Korekiyo, who were assassinated between 1921 and 1936 are not remembered annually in any formal way at all. They (by todays standards nationalists and imperialists) were all devoted to their country, who were honest and brave enough to speak out against unbridled militarism and in favor of practical realistic foreign policy, and were assassinated for it. 

To me, it just seems so lopsided. I guess they were the losers, and the winners (the unmitigated militarists controlling the country from 1936 to 1945) therefore have the right to consider them irrelevant.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Craig, good point. Do you know if they are on the roll in Yasukuni?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What about the Japanese war dead who did not believe in Shinto? What does Abe do to remember them?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

If anyone actually thinks these politicians are performing a religious ritual, OK vote LDP.

many of the people buried there are Korean, Taiwanese buried at Yausukuni. Forced into the IJA now are denied a simple vote having given their lives for the Emperor. It's a known focus of discontent and Japan's finest continue to stoke the fires.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering to the Yasukuni Shrine for war dead, seen in China and the two Koreas as a symbol of Japan's past militarism

And some people wonder why Korea and China still raise Japanese revisionism as an issue and harbour pessimism toward the Japanese government's "apologies."

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Domestic politics. Whine all you want. Who is surprised. At least there is a democracy (no thanks to an apathetic public). Check out the rest of the neighborhood... Politics time in China, too... Don't breath wrong, don't text discontent... Black prison for you, no independent judiciary... Not a shadow. Same for Russia. North Korea? Tens of millions of literal prisoners (can't leave without permission). Oh, but the scandal that an ineffective sycophant visits a marginalized temple to suit his short-term needs. Rank idiocy? Yes. Best keep a sense of perspective... This blog is in Japan for a reason... Because it sure as hell is not happening anywhere else besides Taiwan and South Korea in this neighborhood...

2 ( +7 / -5 )

An offering in a personal capacity, as a private citizen, is not the same as an offering in an official capacity as Prime Minister. If individuals want to mourn and remember their dead, who is anyone to say that they cant do that in a respectful and honourable way. Visiting the Yasukuni is no different to visiting any other war memorial in the world and people should be free to do so with out criticism or  badgering from the press or foreign powers. It is a shame that there are certain individuals enshrined there but surely  a line has to be drawn somewhere so everyone can move on. This is not News!

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

 Visiting the Yasukuni is no different to visiting any other war memorial in the world

Yes it is. Few other memorials today enshrine war criminals and glorify a series of military conquests that killed over 20-30 million innocent people and enslaved many others to serve an empire headed by a supposed living God.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Millions of Chinese and Koreans visit Japan every year, so this does not seem to have much play at the popular level, only for some politicians. Anyway, there was a story many years ago that although it is well known that there are no actual Japanese remains at Yasukuni, there are remains of Korean (and maybe Chinese) soldiers who fought for the Japanese and nobody wants their remains.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Your average Joe or Jane don't care about Yasukuni, etc issues that have so many posters here agitated.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

There is a place and time for everthing. The war is long over, and the memories remain of those not here today.  I lost a great grandfather and great uncle, one in Pearl Harbor where his remains are buried under water, the other in a Japanese island, killed during the heat of battle. I do not nor my family show any disrespect or ill will towards acts of remembrance toward those Japanese who also are not among the living but respect those who do pay tribute and remembrance of their past family members. Japanese should not fear or feel reprise as the war is long over.  Abe has continued remembrance despite elections and should be allowed to continue this practice rather than be dishonorable and disrespectful.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

And the chinese can basically read everything which stands in Abe's name!! Should have written in Hiragana! Kanji wich basically means Han characters in Japanese was copied from China in the 8th century!

It feels like Abe want China to get upset over his remarks like; "look at me, i'm glorifying Japanese military history by writing in chinese, your own letters". How dumb can you be, Abe??

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

And yet if a group of individuals paid homage to Goering or himlers grave, 100% of the proponents of this gross callous action would be the loudest in calling out the absurdity. It's revolting how cold you all are.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The only prayer to give is to the Yasukuni shrine itself, having been co-opted into the rightwing where beforehand it had always held it back to a certain extent. Just another thread of Japan in need of repair that no one will stand up to do because doing the right thing goes against those in control.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Those being in charge = the Shrine Owners.

The J-gov has repeatedly asked for the names to be removed but was always declined.

BTW, you can see a Zero bit down the road at the science Museum.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

dcog9065Today  02:14 pm JST

He has every right to do so, and as PM he has a duty to honour Japan's war dead like they do in every other nation on Earth

There are public facilities and events for the PM to do that. As the Constitution separates church and state he has the right to do whatever he likes at Yasukuni Shrine, a private religious institution, as a private citizen.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Abe's election slogan is ''Protect Japan''. His entire theme is that Japan needs to be protected, and he is the protector. For this strategy to succeed, people need to be scared. When you are not scared, there is nothing you want to be protected from. When you live in fear, you look for protectors and protection. By visiting the Yasukuni, Abe hopes to anger China so they can retaliate in an angry manner, which will reinforce the idea that Japan is under threat and needs to be protected, thereby pushing voters to vote for the protector.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

hachikouToday 12:23 pm JSTI am not a big fun of Abe nor Yasukuni, but he has a right to visit there, because his grand father, Nobusuke Kishi, was once convicted as A-class criminal, later managed to release.

No he was charged, but never convicted. He was detained while charged then released. This kind of statement leads to erroneous claims that he was a convicted war criminal.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

@Ossan

You are very defensive when the subject of Japan's WW2 conduct comes up.

Surely you can't blame China for this one?

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

JimizoToday  09:53 pm JST

@Ossan

You are very defensive when the subject of Japan's WW2 conduct comes up.

Surely you can't blame China for this one?

You are grossly mistaken. Yes I am very defensive about FACTS. When have you ever seen me be "defensive" about any of the actual War Crimes tried and convicted by the International Tribunal for the Far East (Tokyo Trials)? Never.

Do you advocate incorrect information being spread about? About anything?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Surely you can't blame China for this one?

Sure we can.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

"Isn't it interesting how the winners get to call the losers "war criminals?"

True this may be, but in this case basically every country in the world agrees-- South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, India, Nepal, Vietnam Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Russia...etc. etc. etc

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

MacArthur was going to destroy the shrine and build a dog racing trace (really!), but the emissary of the Pope interceded, saying all countries have a right to pay respects to their war dead. Maybe MacArthur should have followed through with his plan.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

OssanAmerica, the fact is that Abe's grand father was jailed for war crimes, convicted or not. Why there are so many Japanese visit the Shrines? Because there were so many dead in the war. Why there were so many dead? because they were send to other countries to invade, to conquer. Japanese people were innocent then, they are innocent now. They have been played by politicians generations after generations, they sacrificed their lives and their feelings. For what? It is wrong to say that the war is long past, it is wrong to say that Japan should forget the war, it is wrong to glorify the war. Japan has long history, has good culture. Before justice, Japan must repent. That is the only way to get back to normal, that is the only way to maintain peace, and that is the only way to get along with neighbors. NorthEeast Asians was once a big family and should work together to reunify.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Many tourists walk right up to the shrine, pause to pray or take a picture, then turn right back and leave. There is a war museum well worth seeing next to the shrine called the Yuushuu Kan. While it is not the British Museum in terms of scale, it contains letters and photos of 18-20 year old Kamikaze pilots, the human torpedo, etc all to remind us the tragedy of war.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Yes it is. Few other memorials today enshrine war criminals and glorify a series of military conquests that killed over 20-30 million innocent people and enslaved many others to serve an empire headed by a supposed living God.

Your definition of Yasukuni defines perfectly well Arlington National Cemetery.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@nandakandamanda - No those four acting former assassinated prime ministers are not on the rolls because they did not belong to the military. They were civilian leaders killed as a result of trying to exercise civilian control over foreign policy. In contrast former prime minister Tojo Hideki is on there because he was a military leader.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

 Abe... should be allowed to continue this practice rather than be dishonorable and disrespectful.

Abe IS allowed, and he does do this. When he appears at Chidorifuji and other war remembrance events no one protests, because it's not an issue.

But Yasukuni is different. It's not merely about remembrance. It's a place where war criminals are enshrined with a museum that justifies Japan's conquests that killed nearly 30 million innocent people. THAT is the problem.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

AkieToday  12:12 am JST

OssanAmerica, the fact is that Abe's grand father was jailed for war crimes, convicted or not. 

I don't know what country you live in, but in most of the world there is a universe of a difference between being charged, having the charges dropped, and released...and being charged, prosecuted and convicted. You can not label a person who has not been convicted, as convicted. Common sense 101.

bruinfanOct. 17  11:16 pm JST

"Isn't it interesting how the winners get to call the losers "war criminals?"

True this may be, but in this case basically every country in the world agrees-- South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, India, Nepal, Vietnam Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Russia...etc. etc. etc

Three blatant errors in this statement. One is that India, who had a judge on the Tokyo Trials tribunal did not agree with the other judges from the allied victor nations. Two is that all of Korea, both South and North was part of the Japanese Empire from 1910 to 1945, and over 240,000 Koreans served in the Imperial Japanese armed forces. In fact, a Korean General was convicted as a Class-A war criminal for the treatment of Allied POWS, as well as many convicted as Class-B and C. Korea was NOT one of the countries invaded by Japan in WWII. Third, do you really need an explanation regarding Germany which had the Nuremburg Trials prior to the Tokyo Trials?

As for winners and losers in a war, General Curtis LeMay who was responsible for the indiscriminate aerial bombing of Japanese cities targeting civilians said;

"Killing Japanese didn't bother me very much at that time... I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal..."

5 ( +9 / -4 )

" I suppose if I had lost the war, I would have been tried as a war criminal..."

He's not saying he should have been but that he probably would have been.

As for China and Korea, why don't they just ignore Abe.

I have no problem with Japanese going to Yasukuni.

Nobody who goes there is saying war crimes were good. And as I've said many times, the distinction between Class A, B and C criminals is something hardly anyone who comments on the matter knows about.

If everyone was okay with going there as long as there were only Class B and C , but not A, would it make a difference if there were such a thing as Class A Minus?

Each country should just remember their dead in their way in peace.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Visiting the Yasukuni is no different to visiting any other war memorial in the world. Yes it is. Few other memorials today enshrine war criminals and glorify a series of military conquests that killed over 20-30 million innocent people and enslaved many others to serve an empire headed by a supposed living God.

Arlington enshrines war criminals and glorifies a series of military conquests that have killed over 50-55 million innocent people and enslaved many others to serve an empire that considers itself "one Nation under God."

Jacob H. Smith and Dudley Walker Morton are but two examples of war criminals enshrined at Arlington.

But Yasukuni is different. It's not merely about remembrance. It's a place where war criminals are enshrined with a museum that justifies Japan's conquests that killed nearly 30 million innocent people. THAT is the problem.

Arlington is not merely about remembrance. It's a place where war criminals are enshrined and glorifies conquests that killed over 50-55 innocent million people. THERE lies the problem.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If Abe's religious beliefs necessitate him to pray / make offerings at Yasukuni then why doesn't he do it quietly - as a private citizen?

If the most important aspect is his heart felt sorrow at the loss of lives, he doesn't require any publicity at all.

If it really is the act of a privately mourning citizen???

A cynic might suggest that it is playing a trump card to show his devout believers - ldp right - that he has not forsaken them so please vote for me.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I see no issue whatsoever with Abe sending offerings to Yasukuni. I think this "issue" has been milked for far too long by those with dubious intentions and I don't even see this as news anymore. In fact it would be news if he didn't honour Japan's war dead

1 ( +2 / -1 )

dcog9065Today  11:17 am JST

I see no issue whatsoever with Abe sending offerings to Yasukuni.

Have you totally missed the whole constitutional separation of government and religion thing?

I think this "issue" has been milked for far too long by those with dubious intentions and I don't even see this as news anymore. In fact it would be news if he didn't honour Japan's war dead

Right, it shouldn't be news because neither the shrine nor the Prime Minister should be reporting it. If it were a state function of some kind you might have a point, but as it's not you don't.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Have you totally missed the whole constitutional separation of government and religion thing?

Not sure how you see this is as religion, I see it as a PM honouring the war dead of the nation. If you are uncomfortable with that, I think you will find every country on Earth unpleasant.

Right, it shouldn't be news because neither the shrine nor the Prime Minister should be reporting it. If it were a state function of some kind you might have a point, but as it's not you don't.

Nah, it should be reported as Japanese veterans would want to know about it plus it concerns the PM and the nation. What I am saying is that I don't consider it news-worthy myself as it's standard and normal behaviour for the PM and the supposed "controversy" over this from the detractors is invalid IMO

1 ( +3 / -2 )

dcog9065Today  04:53 pm JST

"Have you totally missed the whole constitutional separation of government and religion thing?"

Not sure how you see this is as religion...

Well, I was somewhat of the opinion that Yasukuni Shrine was a private religious establishment, where people go to pray and do religious stuff like that. Does it in fact serve some other purpose I'm not aware of?

Nah, it should be reported as Japanese veterans would want to know...

I don't care what they want to know. A politician's private life is none of their business.

...about it plus it concerns the PM and the nation. 

No, it doesn't. Associating with that shrine is not an official duty. It's a strictly private matter that Abe and like-minded cronies continually publicise for the purpose of getting those Japanese veterans' votes. Japanese politicians should honour the war dead at state functions held at state establishments, as is normal, and keep quiet about whatever they do in private with regard to Yasukuni Shrine.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Reply to "Scrote": I have read in the Japan Times about 30 years ago that some of the war dead (members of the Japan armed forces who died on duty) enshrined at Yasukuni (i.e., reverenced as KAMI=god or gods or deities or deity) had not been earnest about Shinto membership, but were Christians or other religious traditions' members. All those who died in service and on duty are enshrined, I heard. Some Christians relatives have protested the "deification" of their dead ones, saying that violates their view of theology (and I also heard that the cremains were also there in Yasukuni--does anyone know whether that is true?), but in vain. Their war dead were not deconsecrated. I had read in virtually the only English-medium textbook on Japanese religion (by Earhart) about 40 years ago that (as I had learned from a teacher of religion studies in general even longer ago) in Japan one may participate in various religions without having to define one's membership. So one can be Shinto blessing one's children at 7-5-3, Confucian about being humane to one's wife even if she takes a cooperating lesser level of power, Christian in one's wedding ceremony--without any necessity of baptism--and yet be buried in a Buddhist rite. Yet, it seems nowadays that the notion of 'being a member' that formerly characterised the monotheists' traditions peculiar approach to religiousness (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) has become mixed in with Shinto and maybe other Japan traditions. OR was this from long ago and merely omitted from Earhart's book for some reason? Does anybody know?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Angry right wingers can vote me down, but I know what people from other countries think. They will remember.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

bruinfanOct. 21  12:17 am JST

Angry right wingers can vote me down...

That's about all they can do as they don't have any good arguments.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites