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Kishida sends ritual offering to Yasukuni Shrine

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Good job, but I would like him more if he visited in person. Not feeling satisfied. Go in person next.

-22 ( +23 / -45 )

But a Japanese prime minister has not appeared there since 2013, when Shinzo Abe sparked fury in Beijing and Seoul and earned a rare diplomatic rebuke from close ally the United States.

The US should keep out of Japanese domestic politics. It was very poor of Obama to do this.

Japans country, Japan's rules - Japan's right to honor her millions of war dead in any manner they see fit.

-18 ( +27 / -45 )

It's not newsworthy, it is even trolling. No mention of the former premier Suga visting Yasukuni?

5 ( +12 / -7 )

Showing his true colors?

Honoring the war dead is fine with me, but please not at a place where war criminals are also remembered!

12 ( +34 / -22 )

No Japanese Emperor has visited Yasukuni Shrine since 1975. What do the Japanese Royal Family know that the rest of the country is either ignorant of or chooses to ignore? (The 1978 enshrinement of 14 Class-A war criminals notwithstanding.)

11 ( +30 / -19 )

And where is the news here?

Kishida is a Nippon Kaigi affiliated and a revisionist of his country history and the peaceful constitution.

Again nothing will change.

0 ( +24 / -24 )

The US should keep out of Japanese domestic politics. It was very poor of Obama to do this.

Japans country, Japan's rules - Japan's right to honor her millions of war dead in any manner they see fit.

Unfortunately the US plays the critical role in Japanese politics, including this Yasukuni issue. Few LDP and conservative politicians take seriously nee-jerk reactions from Beijing & Seoul while most would (have to) comply with US demands. PM Abe used to be most powerful politician, but he quit the shrine visit after "concern" was expressed by Washington (then under Obama). He couldn't even convince his buddy Trump to give ok.

Now it seems to be some consensus or power equilibrium: No physical visit by sitting PM, offerings allowed. The ex-PM Suga stopped by Yasukuni today, only two weeks after his leaving office. This confirms the "tacit" agreement.

9 ( +23 / -14 )

Oh dear, the same politically purblind behaviour. I think Japanese politicians must suffer from the political form of tunnel vision!

2 ( +23 / -21 )

The shrine in central Tokyo honors 2.5 million war dead, mostly Japanese, who have perished since the late 19th century.

To expect a nation to not honor the 2.5 million war dead because of 14 Class A criminals shows dishonor to the average Japanese soldier who sacrificed his life since the 19th Century, remembering that Japan was an allied nation in WWI. It also shows an inability to forgive. Nobody is asking anyone to forget there are criminals there.

I dont think any nation that has fought a long war will not have class A criminals amongst their warriors. They just didnt get caught, or charged or found out. I do not excuse any criminal action. War in and of itself is a crime against humanity in my eyes.

The leaders of all nations are expected by their people to honor those who died for their nation. Japan is no different.

It is my opinion that many in Japan do not regret the war but only losing it. Many revisionists remain and that is bad for Japan and for taking true responsibility. But a leader must honor those lives lost in the name of Japan. Time for some forgiveness and for some to acknowlege full responsibility and to mean it. Teaching the uncomfortable truth would be a good start.

-11 ( +16 / -27 )

I feel better now, not having visited and given a gift to mass murderers ashes. I’m sure as there is an election looming, many Myopic, racist, and revisionist old people are so excited to support both the dead and the walking dead they have to staunchly support the status quo doing what they have been taught to do. It’s not like their education has prepared them for critical thinking.

0 ( +20 / -20 )

I am an overseas Chinese. My dad was wrongly imprisoned by the Japanese during World War II and suffered a lot. However, I graduated from Tokyo University under the Mombusho Scholarship. It opened the door to world and my life fortune.

The War is long over. The Shrine is the sacred place for Japanese to honor the War Dead. China needs to bury their hatred of the Japanese. What Japan does within Japanese none of the business of China.

What if Japan makes a lot of noise over the student massacres at Tiananmen Square? Or about that supposedly fake body of Mao on display? What China does in China is none of Japan's business...same applies to China.

It is now 2021, a new century.

I am looking to invest in Japan in gratitude. War is long gone. The pain and hatred are long gone too.

3 ( +23 / -20 )

And people wonder why nobody takes seriously any of the official apologies of Japan for its rape of Asia.

Actions speak louder than words.

8 ( +31 / -23 )

Fukushima and Yasukuni, covering all the bases. I wonder what’s next in the playbook.

4 ( +21 / -17 )

Fighto!Today  05:14 pm JST

But a Japanese prime minister has not appeared there since 2013, when Shinzo Abe sparked fury in Beijing and Seoul and earned a rare diplomatic rebuke from close ally the United States.

The US should keep out of Japanese domestic politics. It was very poor of Obama to do this.

It was Amb Caroline Kennedy who foolishy issued a statement which said that "other nations" would be offended. The United States itself maintains no position whatsoever on the Yasukiuni Shrine or J-politicians doing whatever they want.

The exact text:

"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."

https://japan2.usembassy.gov/e/p/2013/tp-20131226-01.html

Obviously, it would not benefit U.S. interests considering;

 United States Marine Corps Lieutenant General Wallace Gregson (the 3rd Marine Division's commanding general) visited Yasukuni on April 26, 2001.

Former President of the Republic of China Lee Teng-hui visited on October 27, 2007.

-3 ( +17 / -20 )

This is just so unhelpful.

3 ( +21 / -18 )

For some reason the perpetrators are celebrated and the victims marginalised. In Japan that’s a vote winner. Guess you have to be in the family to understand that one.

-7 ( +10 / -17 )

@Peter14

First of all, you're making a common mistake in assuming that "Class A" war criminals are the worst ones. That is not necessarily the case. Class A war criminals are those that committed "crimes against peace", while Class B criminals committed conventional war crimes (mistreatment of prisoners, deliberate targeting of civilians, destruction of cities), and Class C were those that committed crimes against humanity (i.e. systematic persecution, the Holocaust). There are more than 1,000 of all 3 types enshrined at Yasukuni.

Second, and this is perhaps what is most important: the war criminals at Yasukuni were not enshrined there from the beginning. The enshrinement was a continuous process that took place over many years after WW2. The decision to enshrine Class C and Class B criminals was made only in the late 1950s and done in secrecy (against even wishes of some of the families) by ideologically driven priests who thought that by exluding war criminals it meant tacit acceptance of the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, which they viewed as illegitimate. Class A war criminals only became enshrined in 1978 after the head priest, Tsukuba Fujimaro, had put if off as long as possible. The new head priest, Matsudaira Nagayoshi, had a father-in-law who was a class C war criminal that was executed by firing squad. So the enshrinement of war criminals was a secretive and ideologically-driven act done out of contempt for the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal. It was done precisely out of contempt for the fact that Japan had lost the war; they were sorry they lost, not sorry they did it.

I recommend this article that really goes into depth about the issue: https://www.nippon.com/en/in-depth/a02404/

7 ( +22 / -15 )

@OssanAmerica

Former President of the Republic of China Lee Teng-hui visited on October 27, 2007.

To be more specific, Wiki gives the following account:

In June 2007, former Taiwanese president Lee Teng-hui visited the shrine to pay his respects to his elder brother Lee Teng-ching (李登欽, or Lí Teng-khim in Taiwanese POJ), also known as Takenori Iwasato (岩里武則) in Japanese, who is among the 27,863 Taiwanese honored there.

As to why his older brother was enshrined in Japan, the article on Lee Teng-Hui sheds some more light on topic.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Teng-hui#Family

Growing up under Japanese colonial rule, he (Lee Teng-hui ) developed a strong interest for Japan. His father was a middle-level Japanese police aide, and his elder brother, Lee Teng-chin (李登欽) joined the colony's police academy and soon volunteered for the Imperial Japanese Navy and died in Manila.

Here the full article for everybody to get a more complete picture and a who's who of those who visited the shrine and when.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controversies_surrounding_Yasukuni_Shrine#Foreign_political_visitors

0 ( +13 / -13 )

That didn’t take long! It was going to happen sooner or later as expected! Kashida is just another puppet in LDP being controlled by a group of oyajiis! Any Japanese who thinks it’s a good idea to visit or send offerings in official Government capacity to Yasukuni is just an imbecile! Honoring mass murderers and war criminals is just pathetic! But since it’s Japan and the US needs money from them they’ll turn a blind eye as usual!

-2 ( +16 / -18 )

Fighto: "Japans country, Japan's rules - Japan's right to honor her millions of war dead in any manner they see fit."

Yeah, and they should be left in the dust in international negotiations if it never wants to listen to others and/or cooperate. Awwww... but then they'll cry to the ICJ when South Korea doesn't want to buy it's goods! Awwww... but then they'll cry when they can't participate in war games with South Korea and the US. That's to name but a very, very few things they like to be a part of the international community with and ask everyone to play nice, then say, "Japans (sic) country, Japan's rules" when they don't like the deserved criticism. Kishida has just proven he is a pawn of the Nippon Kaigi, and not worth bothering to work with for the year or less he'll be in power before resigning.

2 ( +20 / -18 )

War is never domestic politics.

Was Hitler a domestic political figure?

Imagine Merkel visiting his grave..

0 ( +16 / -16 )

No surprises there. However, I do find it entertaining (for lack of a better word) that this was a headline only three days ago:

Kishida urges S Korea to do more over wartime row to improve ties

Do as I say, not as I do. I can only imagine how deluded these nationalists must be to think their "urging" actually means something if they keep worshiping the past they want others to forget.

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

YotomayaToday  08:13 pm JST

No surprises there. However, I do find it entertaining (for lack of a better word) that this was a headline only three days ago:

Kishida urges S Korea to do more over wartime row to improve ties

Do as I say, not as I do. I can only imagine how deluded these nationalists must be to think their "urging" actually means something if they keep worshiping the past they want others to forget.

Perhaps you don't visit you parent's grave, your family's grave, your friend's grave

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

New capitalism, wealth redistribution, Fukushima, Yasukuni, Talked to Joe, Korean abductees meeting, more hospital rooms....it's LDP top trumps!

2 ( +10 / -8 )

"Awwww... but then they'll cry to the ICJ when South Korea doesn't want to buy it's goods! Awwww... but then they'll cry when they can't participate in war games with South Korea "

South Korea = SMALL POTATOE!

You're free to add a tiny "s" at the end. I'm certain you think it should be Potatos.

Kishida should have gone there personally.

-16 ( +0 / -16 )

I would have more respect for the Prime Minster of japan if he had the honor to walk through the front door.

Instead of cynically cowering behind a masakaki tree offering.

Shameful and fakery

2 ( +9 / -7 )

I think every country has war memorials that celebrate the deeds of people that, upon reflection, were often extremely brutal and not always in a way that was necessary to defeat the enemy.

Japan did some incredibly brutal things during WW2 and before it in China and Korea, but there hardly alone. No excuse. Just telling it like it is.

Firebombing major Japanese cities night after night and dropping a couple of atomic bombs on hundreds of thousands was pretty brutal I would contend. Just a hands off kinda brutal.

I would also say history is told by the winners.....

Imagine Merkel visiting his grave.

...or did he escape to South America along with a tonne of other Nazi's.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

One has to stand up and be honest in there cultural beliefs.

If Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, wants to visit this imperial Japanese army hellish reflection of the past horrors.

Then have the ethics and moral esteem to do so.

Don't recreant hoax and pretend otherwise!!!!

Send a tree? It fools nobody

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

The LDP version of being jumped into the gang.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is hiding behind a political façade, a pretense, some self-supporting structure, a tree, can dispel the need to focus on the future necessity for the younger generations to move on, and built a closer relation with there neighboring counterparts.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

The People of Japan, at least my Family, well partially, moved on, this Yasukuni Shrine, a wart, a painful, political pus filled bump that refuses to be resolved.

The bloodstains of the past will continue to pollute every aspect of diplomacy and the Governments of China and North Korea will continue to take advantage of the fact.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

An ugly place. Should be knocked down

5 ( +11 / -6 )

There must be a united/unified cross party/diet policy to deal with past historic atrocities.

There cannot politicly continue to be politicians lining up in this Yasukuni Shrine horror story in essence pay homage to some of the most brutal “Class-A" war criminals.

There is no justification to do so. 

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Kishida, who became Japan's prime minister on Oct 4, does not plan to visit the shrine during the two-day festival that runs through Monday, Kyodo News reported, citing unnamed people close to him.

It's highly disappointing or offending that the article fails to note what is currently underway at the shrine, the cultural meaning of it, only "two-day festival" referred from another source. It's considered one of the most significant annual events celebrating harvests and work achievements, showing gratitude (similar to Thanksgiving Day). Yasukuni has multi-layered functions, and the festivity is not even for war remembrance.

Any attempt to nitpick the wartime issue at this particular moment is totally out of context, full of ignorance. It may only serve trolling propaganda. Better know what is worth reporting.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Fighto!Today  05:14 pm JST.

Japans country, Japan's rules - Japan's right to honor her millions of war dead in any manner they see fit.

I was expecting that gross oversimplification to get regurgitated.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Any attempt to nitpick the wartime issue at this particular moment is totally out of context, full of ignorance.

The context you are failing to acknowledge is that every Japanese PM who visits there, at any time, will be poking a stick in the eye of Asian neighbors who will take this as an opportunity, justified or not, to feel offended and will sour relations.

Kishida is visiting now at this particular moment because he has an election to win. He doesn’t give two hoots about the harvest festival.

Any claim otherwise is ‘full of ignorance’.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Kinda makes you wonder how any American could condemn this when our country is filled with statues honoring and military bases named after traitors and slave owners.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

We should remember that history is rewritten by the winners. Yasukuni Shrine offers a perspective from another side.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I imagine the same voices which condemn the honoring of the Japanese children sacrificed by their pathological leaders would even more loudly condemn the Western leader who refused to honor their own children so sacrificed by their own psychopaths. And NO Western country has ANY shortage of War Criminals in its history and some even put them on their currency and consider them as honored heroes...

And I suspect that the most poisonous voices here condemning honoring one's war dead would be the most anti-Article 9 as well. But these are what compose much of Humanity and explain much, if not ALL, that is wrong with us as a species...

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

roylance.nortonOct. 17  05:23 pm JST

No Japanese Emperor has visited Yasukuni Shrine since 1975. What do the Japanese Royal Family know that the rest of the country is either ignorant of or chooses to ignore? (The 1978 enshrinement of 14 Class-A war criminals notwithstanding.)

So if the Emperors won't patronize this shrine, doesn't that reflect something? The PMs need to take heed, and remove the bodies of the Class A war criminals because they brought defeat, shame and dishonor to the Japanese people thru their lies.

itsonlyrocknrollOct. 17  09:00 pm JST

I would have more respect for the Prime Minster of japan if he had the honor to walk through the front door.

Instead of cynically cowering behind a masakaki tree offering.

Shameful and fakery

Maybe he knows he's doing wrong and is being a sheepish coward about it. I remember when Reagan visited the Bitburg cemetary in 1985 and laid a wreath there, it has Nazi SS officers buried there. It pissed off a number of WW2 vets, Jews, others and rightfully so. I was in the Navy at the time and he was m C-in-C. I saw it on TV and I thought at best it was very stupid. And I don't see much difference here. Hideiki Tojo was a fascist dictator and his cabinet was a bunch of war criminal scumdogs. I don't blame Hirihito, Akihito or any Emperor since for not visiting that place. I wouldn't. It's a disrespect, and it disgraces the Japanese war dead from previous wars at that.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Groundhog Day, anime version, series 27, episode 15.

If I was leader of one of those once-brutally-colonised nations, my response today would be that I didn't care if the Japanese PM worshipped Satan. As long as we did mutually beneficial trade, climate change and defence deals, I'd be happy. Historians can worry about the past.

Luckily for America and China, that won't happen. The usual political theatre and endless posturing will kick off. Much of the region has been trapped in the past by this stuff for decades. As long as it stays that way, the balance of power won't change. And it will stay that way, because the theatre and rhetoric is baked into the political DNA of the region. They will still be going through the motions with this in 2051.

It does serve one useful purpose - a disincentive to colonising other peoples' countries. Whatever short term benefits you get, the 'long tail' will mean damaging economic and political grief for generations to come.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

When I took a World Studies class in college we read a (translsted) book by a Japanese author who lived thru the WW2 fascist regime and afterwards. He described the shame felt by the Japanese people about the defeat brought on to them by their totalitarian dictatorship that censored and lied to them about everything, especially the war crimes and abuses. And during the dictatorship there were death squads and 'disappearances'. Hideiki Tojo and his cabinet misled Japan and disgraced them all.

Having the fascists buried with previous warriors is a dishonor and visiting the shrine with the bodies of those criminal maggots is a huge slap in the face to the WW2 Allied dead, and the Japanese people themselves.

Spain finally had the sence recently to remove the body of Francisco Franco from that exalted tomb it was enshrined in, maybe it's time Japan does the same.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

1965 agreement says nothing about Not visiting The Yasukuni Shrine.

Koreans immediately love pointing to any visit.... Ok so what???

You didn't say Japanese can't visit the Shrine in 1965 agreement.

You didn't say Japanese can't visit the Shrine in 2015 Comfort Women Deal.

Yet the moment a PM sends an offering or says something the Korean doesn't like.....

All Deals All Agreements Are OFF. That's how the world works, the way agreements work.... Korean gets to decide. Agreements have 0 value.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Japan is the only country on Planet Earth that doesn't have a right to Visit It's most famous Shrine set up before WWI.

No such restrictions for USA.

Russia.

Europe.

Germany. Started Two World Wars. No Article 9 for Germans. No more apologies or compensation from Merkel. Greece and Poland want more. Germans said No.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

The Japanese people are without doubt a calm, placid, peaceful nation, with a constitution dedicated to harmonious coexistence with there neighbors.

That cannot be said for members of the LDP ruling government that rejoice/worship certain extreme aspects of past imperialism.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

itsonlyrocknroll

So who is it who votes the extreme imperialists into into power in almost every election?

... with a constitution dedicated to harmonious coexistence with there neighbors.

The Japanese didn't write a single word of that constitution. It was foisted on them by the Americans.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

ReasonandWisdomNipponToday  05:40 am JST

1965 agreement says nothing about Not visiting The Yasukuni Shrine.

Neither does it say anything about right-wing nationalist priests enshrining convicted war criminals there.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

ReasonandWisdomNipponToday  05:52 am JST

Japan is the only country on Planet Earth that doesn't have a right to Visit It's most famous Shrine set up before WWI.

You don't appear to understand the issue very well.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Japan’s Postwar Constitution

https://www.cfr.org/japan-constitution/japans-postwar-constitution

JeffLee, I cannot generalize, only present my own personal experience.

My family members vote for local LDP candidates, every election. The younger members are politically comatose. The local education system has no wish to pragmatize on the histrionics of past imperialism.

However family members would not vote for constitutional change.

They vote for what they believe to be there continued economic self being. life style.

Now if this scenario was political representative, nationally, I think that comes some way to answering your question.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

There is nothing wrong with anyone going to Yasukuni Shrine.

Also, the cherry blossoms there are magnificent in spring.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

“Old guy does same thing as last old guy for a few extra votes”

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Seems normal to me.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Speaking of war dead -

Under the reign of emperor hiroto there was 30 million people slaughtered in a Asia holocaust by the imperial Japanese army.

Most that lost their lives by ruthless cruelty were civilians and innocent .

The needless loss of human life was genocide Japanese style .

And the promises not to use biological amd chemical weapons to the international community was lies.

Furthermore after the defeat and surrender of Japan at the ending of world war 2 Japan is not really Japan anymore .

Everything has changed for the better for Japan.

Japan's laws and traditions are now a mixed bag whether Japanese citizens choose to accept that fact or not .

During the showa era more innocent people were slaughtered than Adolf Hitler's holocaust.

You would think Honoring war dead criminals before an election is not a good idea.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Tom SanToday  08:47 am JST

There is nothing wrong with anyone going to Yasukuni Shrine.

Including politicians, unless it's for brazen PR stunts - which all the visits appear to be. It seems to be awfully difficult for online Yasukuni fans to grasp the concept that these LDP types could be making these trips and getting all this media coverage for anything other than totally virtuous reasons.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

From the Asahi Shimbun’s editorial page today:

But it is one thing that the bereft families of war dead and ordinary citizens mourn the death of people killed in the war at the shrine. It is quite another that Cabinet members and other political leaders visit the shrine, which was the core facility of the wartime state Shinto and served as the spiritual pillar of Japan’s militarism in those days.

Yasukini is the the “spiritual pillar of Japan’s militarism”

and Japanese fascism

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The crux of the matter is the whole Asia-Pacific region wont/refuse geopolitically to move on.

Specifically the Governments of China, North and south Korea, and Japan will continually to focus backward and beast each other relentlessly

The Government of China will take advantage of this for all its worth, and continue to develop the weapons that could lead to a humanities extinction.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

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