politics

LDP leader Tanigaki, former PM Abe among 50 politicians to visit Yasukuni Shrine

28 Comments

More than 50 members of the conservative opposition Liberal Democratic Party -- including current LDP leader Sadakazu Tanigaki and former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and -- visited Yasukuni Shrine on Monday.

Visits by senior politicians to the Tokyo war shrine on the anniversary have often inflamed relations with China and South Korea and are closely scrutinized around the region. The Shinto shrine honors the 2.5 million Japanese war dead, including Class A war criminals such as Hideki Tojo, and is seen by many as a center of Japanese revisionism.

However, neither Prime Minister Naoto Kan nor any members of his cabinet visited Yasukuni on Monday, for the second year in a row. Last year — when Kan was still new at the helm and trying to improve ties with Japan's Asian neighbors — was the first time since the end of World War II that the entire Japanese cabinet avoided visiting Yasukuni on Aug 15.

Instead, Kan officially laid a wreath Monday morning at a different war memorial in Tokyo that is not associated with Yasukuni.

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28 Comments
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No surprise Tanigaki is going.

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A pretty clear choice for the voters: the LDP goes to pay their respects to the war criminals, and the DPJ stays well clear, with Kan laying a wreath elsewhere.

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"PM contender Noda urges national unity government" well this shows the attitude of the LDP and the opposition he wants to make a grand coalition with. I still personally think, if Mr Kan is forced or blackmailed into standing down, he should dissolve parliament and force a general election. Let the Japanese people choose their own fate. Mr Kan is trying, but it seems its not what the media says the japanese people want, OK lets see what they want.

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This is the LDP leader Tanigaki who refused cooperation with the goverment, when he was asked to help after the earthquake and the tsunami in Tohoku. Whom does he want to impress? The Japanese people,who are alive now - or the guys who led this people to war and destruction? Who does need people like him?

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So now they're using their Yasukuni visit not only to please their yakuza/uyoku uberlords and to piss off China and the Koreas, but to delineate what little differences now remain between them and the DPJ. What moral integrity and courage. I wouldn't let these creeps pet my dog.

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exciting next story

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I don't understand why they would go there... The whole shrine reeks of right wing smell. I hate the Chinese government and their ways and I hate the Korean marketing stuff but still I cannot justify WW2 , axis or not.

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Kan expressed remorse. These LDP jerks go to Yasukuni to obstinately justify and celebrate the mistakes of Japan's past. Shame on them and on the priests at Yasukuni.

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Funny how Abe didn't visit while he was PM. You can bet your nelly Tanigaki won't go if he ever becomes PM.

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Doing a little math here:

(quote from Wikipedia)

Of the 2,466,532 people contained in the shrine's Book of Souls, 1,068 were convicted of war crimes by a post World War II court. Of those, 14 are convicted Class A war criminals ("crime against peace").

Let's see... 14 / 2466532 = 5.6759855538059104848426860061009e-6. If my admittedly weak scientific notation skills are working properly, that means that only .00057% of the people enshrined were classified as "Class A" war criminals.

If we look at ALL WWII war criminals enshrined there (Classes A through C), then we have 1068 / 2466532 = 0.0004329966122474794569865706181797, or only .04% of those enshrined were convicted OR SUSPECTED of WWII war crimes (some of those "convictions" were based on only one person's testimony).

So I'm puzzled at all this "outrage" over politicians visiting the shrine. 99.96% of the people enshrined there have nothing to do with WWII war crimes, yet some poeple would protest anyone honoring their service simply because of the statistically few additions that WERE involved in war crimes trials.

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Fadamor

There are 14 class A warcriminals, 1,068 class B and C warcriminals and many other criminals who were never tried at Yasukuni, but thats besides the point.

If I was a Japanese person and had a family member who was enshrined at Yasukuni, then the last thing I would want is for them to be enshrined with a bunch of war criminals. I would demand they(warmongers) be kicked out so that they do not dishonor the memory of the ordinary people who died simply because they were misled and following orders. Wouldn't you agree?

There really is no excuse. The criminals arn't even buried at the shrine. They are in the shrine in name only. Is it so difficult to simply remove their names? It would probably take only a few hours and would be good pr for Japans international relations. Oh but then you have nutcases claiming that ancestral tree spirits cannot be removed from Yasukuni because of some magical barrier. LOL. What a stupid excuse. No one takes floating spirits seriously these days, especially after the Emperor whom the Japanese believed to be god him self openly declared on radio that he was a mere human and that the religion built around him was nothing but propaganda.

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There really is no excuse. The criminals arn't even buried at the shrine. They are in the shrine in name only. Is it so difficult to simply remove their names? It would probably take only a few hours and would be good pr for Japans international relations. Oh but then you have nutcases claiming that ancestral tree spirits cannot be removed from Yasukuni because of some magical barrier. LOL. What a stupid excuse. No one takes floating spirits seriously these days, especially after the Emperor whom the Japanese believed to be god him self openly declared on radio that he was a mere human and that the religion built around him was nothing but propaganda.

Hey, way to go! You've just single-handedly "dissed" the entire Shinto religion! Good luck with that! In this particular case, the kami of the war criminals has pooled with the kami of all the others enshrined there, so erasing the names would be, as you put it, "nothing but propaganda" because the kami would still be there. Once pooled, it can't be extracted.

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Fadamor: "If my admittedly weak scientific notation skills are working properly, that means that only .00057% of the people enshrined were classified as "Class A" war criminals."

So if they go, they are not praying .00057% on behalf of class A war criminals? That's .00057% too much, my friend. I just find it amusing that they can still call the place 'Yasukuni' (peaceful country) while it houses some of the worst villains in history.

Making a non-secular shrine to house the war dead besides the class-A war criminals has been discussed, but Yasukuni and the right-wingers went mad over the talk. People have asked for the names of relatives to be removed from Yasukuni and the shrine has denied them.

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This is like cancer in Japanese society.

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If I was a Japanese person and had a family member who was enshrined at Yasukuni, then the last thing I would want is for them to be enshrined with a bunch of war criminals. I would demand they(warmongers) be kicked out so that they do not dishonor the memory of the ordinary people who died simply because they were misled and following orders. Wouldn't you agree?

Then you're REALLY going to be upset at this: The shrine also has Koreans enshrined and the families of those Koreans have demanded that they be removed. Their request was denied for the same reason the priests aren't going to remove the war criminals... according to their religion, once the kami have merged, they can't be removed.

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Anyone would care to check with Hemisynk or something where the soul of Tojo Hideki now resides in the spiritual realm?

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I sure that visit of some shrines must be not as world public political act (as tv show) but only for pray about dead people.

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can't they just pretend to remove the spirits of the war criminals??

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Once the kami have merged, they can't be removed.

Fadamor: That, of course, is all just bunk, and we all know it. Shinto is merely a collection of superstitions and nature worship, and is common to all pre-industrial societies, like Pagan Europe. The difference is that other societies discarded their animist religions as more sophisticated ways of thinking evolved. Japanese society, however, over the ages has tried to legitimize it, usually on the grounds of its Japaneseness, since the more profound Buddhism had foreign overtones. As a result, Shinto is a rather simplistic, superficial yet chauvinistic religion. So no intelligent person should ever be concerned these imaginary deities would be offended.

I would love to see a European country cause a similar international incident over its own Pagan rituals.

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Fadamor

Hey, way to go! You've just single-handedly "dissed" the entire Shinto religion! Good luck with that!

Good luck with what?

In this particular case, the kami of the war criminals has pooled with the kami of all the others enshrined there, so erasing the names would be, as you put it, "nothing but propaganda" because the kami would still be there. Once pooled, it can't be extracted.

I also read in my dungeons and dragons manual that a level 9 Paladin with a +2 Holy Avenger can dispel Kami Pool by casting a level 4 dispel.

This is all nonsense.

Then you're REALLY going to be upset at this: The shrine also has Koreans enshrined and the families of those Koreans have demanded that they be removed. Their request was denied for the same reason the priests aren't going to remove the war criminals...

And this is why people find the shrine to be nothing more than a monument to the absurd. If the families don't want their relatives to be named then thats their choice. I find it disgusting that some shrine wants to dishonor the countless number of dead who would surely have lived long and fruitful lives had it not been for a few manipulative and greedy mass murderers. Whats funny is that several of the foreigners named in the Shrine are still alive and have openly demanded the shrine remove their names.

according to their religion, once the kami have merged, they can't be removed.

Wasn't it Hirohito(Shinto God) himself who told Yasukuni priests not to inter those 14 class A warcriminals which they unfortunately did in 1978? Those priests sure are selective on what they can and cannot do in Shintoism. You've got to be kidding yourself if you believe their motives were purely religious. The shrine and its museum is nothing more then a right wing white washing of history.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

In this particular case, the kami of the war criminals has pooled with the kami of all the others enshrined there, so erasing the names would be, as you put it, "nothing but propaganda" because the kami would still be there. Once pooled, it can't be extracted.

Thats good to hear. If their spirits can't be erased then removing their names should be easy because according to you, it has no effect on their Kami. I guess there really is no reason not to remove them.

On a more serious note, I can't believe we are arguing over magical ancestor spirits. Most sane Japanese people living today don't even take them seriously. People outside of Japan could care less about some Kami pool that no one believes in, they just want to see all mention of warcriminals removed from Yasukuni. If you believe removing their names have no effect to their kami then fine, who cares. Just remove those warcriminals and let this issue die.

PS, do you even know what propaganda means?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Well, Japanese voters know what to expect on August 15 if the LDP ever gets back into power. The DPJ has defused and depoliticized this stupid shrine issue in the easiest way possible--by having Cabinet members refrain from visiting the place on August 15. And they've done it without compromising Japan's sovereignty or "kowtowing" to the politicians in Beijing or giving in to the Japan-haters in Korea. The real losers in this sea change are the defenders of Japanese war criminals. Don't think for a second that "irrational Japan-haters" in China and Korea are the only people in the world who object to seeing Japanese cabinet members visit Yasukuni on August 15. Good for the DPJ to understand this in a way the LDP cannot.

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@Fadamor--it doesn't matter that the majority of souls enshrined at Yasukuni are not war criminals. The reason these politicians are visiting has nothing to do with honoring the innocent who were dragged into the war and lost their lives. Their visit is pure political theater. It is a statement of denial that Japan did wrong in their campaign to subjugate Asia, and, simultaneously, of justification for those atrocities. The former message is a nose-thumbing at Korea and China (e.g. Nanjing never happened). The latter is consolation to the forces of the right and the cultural status quo (i.e. whatever is Japanese is good), represented most vividly by the uyoku gangsters in their black trucks.

As for "dissing" the entire Shinto religion, I believe Shinto priests nationwide deserve blame for not speaking out against the travesty of Yasukuni. Instead, what you will find in Shinto shrines across the country are posters demanding people respect the emperor and the Hinomaru flag. The national Association of Shinto Shrines has come out denouncing the mention of Japanese atrocities in textbooks. Since the Meiji era, Shinto has essentially been just a propagation of chauvinistic and bigoted theories of Japanese-ness, coupled with profiteering from superstitions and empty tradition. Shinto gives people nothing else.

Shinto mourns the loss of its status as state religion. This sentiment is shared these LDP goons because they feel the religion and culture cards will trump criticism from the outside.

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plasticmonkey, the government of Japan has no control of the Shinto priests. The shrine is not public property and that is in the constitution. It is not up to the government to dictate religious belief. The PM and current government have not visited the shrine.

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Class A, B, C - does it matter? Would it make a difference to you people if class C were enshrines, but Class A weren't? Do you know the difference between A, B and C? Do you even know what Yasukuni shrine is about?

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@YuriOtani

the government of Japan has no control of the Shinto priests

I'm not talking about constitutionality. Of course there is freedom of expression. I support it, and I am practicing it now. The priests at Yasukuni can do what they please; I am sure their consciences have been conditioned to be empty enough that they can sleep well at night despite anybody's protests. I am heartened that the current DPJ government has refrained from using state Shinto for political goals. I find it reprehensible that these LDP politicians want to steer public discourse into a fantasy world where the Japanese spirit (i.e. the will of a certain Japanese holdout on reason) transcends universal concerns or values. I do not deny these radicals their voice. I wonder, though, how the thugs in the black trucks feel about other people's freedom of expression. Is it not a problem in this so-called democracy that those who dissent on imperial/war issues find themselves concerned with being harassed or beaten up?

@yasukuni -- by your name I can safely assume what your position is and your purpose for being on this thread. Yes, I do know a great deal about Yasukuni and what it is about. The difference between A, B, or C war criminals and their appropriate burden of guilt is not relevant here. I am not Dante. The point is, as you know it is, revolves around political figures attending memorials at Yasukuni to play the game of celebrating the most conceited, jingoistic, and barbaric aspects of Japanese identity (for political gain) while pretending that they're just paying respects to the (Japanese) sacrificial lambs of Japanese wars of aggression. You know full well that Yasukuni is set up to enshrine and institutionalize this silly charade. A country that can exert such economic force can surely muster consensual strength to acknowledge the follies of its past. Isn't it obvious by now?

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YuriOtani, Yasukuni is supposed to be private property. If Yasukuni is really private property, why is there is there a police box and why are there police stationed INSIDE the shrine property? The police are public employees. If a piece of private property is considered under threat, the police should be stationed OUTSIDE and stay OUTSIDE unless or until a threat happens.

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First time since world war 2 that the Japanese entire cabinet Avoided Visiting Yasukuni.. See How they improved...Well done Nato Kan ..Your effort to reconciliation..... You are Great and Historical... .

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