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Industry minister Nishimura visits Yasukuni shrine

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Obviously eyeing the top job.

-3 ( +15 / -18 )

What's the problem with going there? I actually went to pray there when I became Japanese. I can only thing of stoic warriors that fought bravely for this land being enshrined there, something akin to the Arlington cemetery of Japan. The 'war criminal' label was something that was created by the victors of the war.

-19 ( +16 / -35 )

Time to stir the hornets nest, again.

5 ( +17 / -12 )

El RataToday  05:05 pm JST

What's the problem with going there?

Nothing, if you're a private citizen going out of religious or spiritual conviction. If you're a politician with an eye on PR, votes and campaign donations, on the other hand...

...something akin to the Arlington cemetery of Japan.

It's not, really. Not any more. Since Shinto was dis-established as the state religion of Japan Yasukuni Shrine has been a private establishment, unlike Arlington Cemetery which is maintained by the US Government.

6 ( +19 / -13 )

What's the problem with going there?

Interesting that Japan's current Head of State does not ever go there. Neither did the last two.

-11 ( +8 / -19 )

Shinto isn't a religion it's a philosophy

when i became Japanese.

You can become a Japanese citizen but you cant become Japanese !

There's a difference.

-2 ( +21 / -23 )

I gotta say as a Japanese who returned from living abroad my whole youth, this is just a politicized issue for me.

China and Korea have Temples too and they know that not going to them is something that another nation can never order a sovereign country to do.

Japan also well knows that Yasukuni Shrine has complications from a few of its inhabitants, but since the rest are historical, to a Japanese person its a different thing.

Its like both sides are trying to be difficult and have very poor communication on the topic.

Im tired of it

3 ( +16 / -13 )

Established in 1869 to commemorate those that gave their lives for Japan, Yasukuni in 1978 added wartime Prime Minister General Hideki Tojo and other convicted war criminals to the war dead enshrined there.

Get this straight, only those who were in the military and gave their lives during conflict are enshrined at Yasukuni. Even those who are NOT Japanese are enshrined, against their relatives and families as well, are enshrined there.

No members of the JSDF who dies while on duty, are enshrined at Yasukuni.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

When they say "enshrined" it is in name only. No ashes, no bones, no unnamed troops who died in wars.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Aaaaand here we go again...

0 ( +9 / -9 )

The Shinto priests that included the names of the convicted criminals against government orders did so probably because it is generally accepted as part of most religions, that forgiveness is offered to all. Many people do not have the same ability to forgive the heinous crimes committed by these convicted criminals. It would not be much of a religion if they were unable to forgive sins. Politicians have a duty to their nation to honor those who sacrificed their lives for their country even when done wrongly. Do they think of and honor criminals when they pray there? Who can say other than the individuals that pray there.

My father fought in the Pacific in WWI and he could never forget the horrors of war, and he may not have had forgiveness in his heart. But he was a practicing Christian.

For my part, I have forgiven Germany, Italy and Japan, as someone who was born after the war, and never fought in a war. I have no issue with Japanese politicians visiting that shrine or others. The war criminals were executed for their crimes and there are those who served years in prison, while many would have died during the war.

I can keep pointing out if asked, that criminals are included in the list of names that shrine is there for. I see no gain in expecting politicians to refrain from visiting what is considered a main shrine of remembrance for all of Japans past war dead that includes WWII.

Simply assuming any visiting member of parliament is going to honor war criminals rather than war dead is not reasonable in my mind.

I in no way overlook the murders, tortures and inhumane actions of those criminals. They will be remembered for what they did and that will always be a negative remembrance of those men. Those alive today and tomorrow are not responsible for the actions of others. Religion forgives but victims are not always that generous. Time to move on, and continue to educate quietly about the truth without pointing accusing fingers. The shame is not on the living but on the dead criminals.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

My father fought in the Pacific in WWI

Should be WWII.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

With the upcoming war with China coming up, we need to whip up some far right nationalism.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

I would prefer it if our politicians did not visit the shrine or maybe in the middle of the night when we are sleeping. Stay at home and drink sake.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

At least they are making public appeals about their priorities. Trying to hide them as many did with the unity church problem obviously did not have the results they hoped for.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Even leaving aside the war criminals enshrined there, the so-called "history" museum at Yasukuni is very disturbing in how much it leaves out about Japan's wartime aggressions against its neighbors, instead painting Japan as an innocent and victim of the war. (Truly...the museum suggests that Japan peacefully went into China and Korea to "help" the people there, rather than even bother just mentioning in passing the atrocities that were committed by Japanese soldiers there.) That white-washing of the horrors committed against East Asian neighbors was definitely one of the more disturbing things to see the one time I went. (Unless something has changed since then...but I doubt it.)

-1 ( +16 / -17 )

Soul Searching I say , as so many Japanese politicians find themselves under the spell of the UC.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

"Japan's postwar prosperity is built on the sacrifices of its predecessors,"

No, Japan's post-war prosperity was brought about because the ways of its predecessors were decimated and the country forced to start from fresh, modeling after the nations that defeated it. But, with China's power rising and threatening Japan more than ever, perhaps this guy has forgotten the lessons of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, among others, of what happens when men like him have his way.

-10 ( +8 / -18 )

Most of these old government fossils who visit this shrine are just old men and will be dead in a few years (or senile, if not already). Let them get on with it and don't anybody worry about it.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

@Dochira

Obviously eyeing the top job.

Right on spot.

Nishimura is one of the 7 or more currently mud-wrestling for the leadership of the ex-Hosoda-then-ex-Abe-raving-mad-loony-right-wing-faction. Hence, no surprise. Anyway, it's August, so it's as much in season as cherry-blossom or autumn leaves. Japan is anything but a country of surprises, especially in politics...

Anyway, I would expect the other wrestlers to show up at Yasukuni in the next days (if they haven't done so in the meantime).

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

Death is usually associated with Buddhist temples but this is a Shinto one.

More than 100 government people will probably attend during this Obon time.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Idiot!!

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

SsrpToday  06:36 pm JST

My father fought in the Pacific in WWI

Should be WWII.

Maybe not

The commonwealth and the Japanese fought the Germans in Samoa and China during WW1

The big issue was Japanese killing the allies by accident as they couldn't distinguish the Germans from the allies

So the allied troops wore kimono type clothing to stop the accidental killing

Please post a link to supprt this "accidental killing" thing.

In WWI the Imperial Japanese Navy not only fought the Germans in the Pacific, but escorted Australian troop ships to Europe, and they actually operated in the Mediterranean.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

El Rata...

What's the problem with going there? I actually went to pray there when I became Japanese.

You have Japanese nationality. The vast majority of Japanese look at you and think Gaijin. You will never be "Japanese". As you well know..

-9 ( +5 / -14 )

China and Korea have temples too

Iam sorry but i think your confused because Temples and shrines are different for a reason .

Yasukuni is a shrine not a temple .

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Peter14

Shinto doesn't have priests and it's not a religion !

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

smithinjapan

Today 07:53 pm JST

"Japan's postwar prosperity is built on the sacrifices of its predecessors,"

No, Japan's post-war prosperity was brought about because the ways of its predecessors were decimated and the country forced to start from fresh, modeling after the nations that defeated it.

Right, those kinds of platitudes obviously sound good to nationalist PM wannabes but are total nonsense.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@Peter14

I would suggest checking up on what it means to be enshrined this kind of explains it

https://www.yasukuni.or.jp/english/about/history.html

Simply put when you visit Yasukuni you go there to worship the 2.5million divine beings enshrined there. Yes Divine.

Since the war criminals are enshrined there you worship those...

 murders, tortures and inhumane actions of those criminals

Even if it is unwittingly for you that is the purpose of a Yasukuni shrine visit. As envisioned by Emperor Meiji

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Yasukuni shrine. Japanese are allowed to go. No deal. No Agreement NOT to go. No Agreement for politicians not to go.

We never told Koreans we wont go to Yasukuni shrine. We never signed deals or was part of any agreement not to go to Yasukuni shrine. This is more anti-Japan Garbage going on. Politicians have a right to go as well. They are Japanese citizens!

Yasukuni shrine was built long before WW2 ever happened. Long before WW1 happened when Japan was on Allies side and USA side.

Telling Japanese not to pay respects to it's fallen soldiers, while you worship your military, and soldiers as heroes, it's doubled standard and full of BS.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

What's the problem with going there?

Maybe because grade A war criminals who did unspeakable things to particularly women, children and unarmed prisoners are interned there.

Telling Japanese not to pay respects to it's fallen soldiers, while you worship your military, and soldiers as heroes, it's doubled standard and full of BS.

The irony of the place is that grade A war criminals who were out and out psychopaths are honored there along with more of their victims, common Japanese workers who were conscripted into the war and sent to their deaths by the psychopaths.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

What a waste of time! Japanese political elites should spend more time on fixing their country rather than riling up China and Korea. Of course, they should also stop the hypocrisy of hating Koreans/Chinese but still receiving Korean/Chinese bribes.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

I gotta think that 99% of politicians could care one way or the other about Yasukuni but if one does go there it proves that that he or she supports the powerful right wing faction that is the backbone of the LDP. Abe Soridaijin himself went to Yasukuni in December of 2012, right after he took office for the 2nd time. Visiting Yasukuni by a politician shows loyalty, regardless of what the politician actually thinks. Abe even told the U.S. Govt. before he went to visit Yasukuni. The CIA got the news and then probably told Bush or Obama that it is a visit mainly done to prove his loyalty to the LDB and not necessarily a show of how he might fervently support Japan's prewar imperialism. When China or S. Korea protest the visit and their media highlights it... they too know this, but by highlighting the issue it increases any potential negotiating stance they'll have on other contentious issues. Going to Yasukuni is a test of loyalty... not a show of belief.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Of course, they should also stop the hypocrisy of hating Koreans/Chinese but still receiving Korean/Chinese bribes.

If this is the case, Chinese and Korean lobbyists must be wasting money... In a sense, the cult Unification Church is more successful in infiltrating into Japanese politics despite its anti-Japanese characters.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Telling Japanese not to pay respects to it's fallen soldiers, while you worship your military, and soldiers as heroes, it's doubled standard and full of BS.

Stop comparing fallen soldiers to war criminals. Other countries have fallen soldiers buried at sites while Yasukuni has war criminals who tortured, raped and killed millions! Just because it didn’t happen in your lifetime and to your loved ones doesn’t give you the right to defend war criminals who are buried there! Yasukuni will be always a place where the war criminals are buried and to honor them is just pathetic!

What's the problem with going there? I actually went to pray there when I became Japanese. 

If you need to ask this question then your intelligence level is simply zero!

Oh, you can’t become Japanese! You can become a Japanese citizen but you’ll always be considered an outsider / foreigner and gaijin in the eyes, minds and hearts of Japanese people!

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

I gotta think that 99% of politicians could care one way or the other about Yasukuni.

You meant ‘couldn’t’

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Peter14

It wasn't an act of "forgiveness". That is complete and utter nonsense. The decision to enshrine the class-A war criminals was done in secrecy and by ideologically driven priests who rejected the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (or "Tokyo Trials"). Before 1978, the head priest Fujimaro Tsukuba tried to put off the enshrinement as long as possible, until he died and Matsudaira Nagayoshi took over. And it is publically known that Matsudaira completely rejected the Tokyo Trials and considered them illegitimate for casting Japan as the villain. Matsudaira also had family members that were convicted war criminals This wasn't about forgiveness. This was about bitterness over the defeat, and a rejection of the peace imposed on Japan. Look up the article "Yasukuni and the Enshrinement of War Criminals" for a more complete examination.

There IS A REASON no Japanese Emperor has visited the shrine since 1975. The Showa emperor himself expressed his displeasure at the act in private. Further, the shrine's Yūshūkan museum is war crimes denial on steroids and casts Japan as the victim. It is rightful that politicians should choose not to associate themselves with this place, and if they do, they ar right to be criticized for it. If the Emperors of Japan can see that this is a heinous monument to militarism, why can't you?

1 ( +8 / -7 )

ALL countries who win wars HONOR unindicted WAR CRIMINALS not the least of which are the U.S. and the UK. Few 'victors' recognize their own as guilty of war crimes but, if we actually read and understand what they, our own, have done to people, we find behavior at least as heinous, if not unimaginably monstrous, as any we accuse others of having done. And, we forget that these people are EMPLOYEES of their RULERS, whether dynastically aristocratic or financial, the powerful of their societies who appoint and control, whether directly or through MONEY, the conscienceless politicians who direct the equally conscienceless generals who direct masses of brainwashed ('trained') naive young people to commit the horrific act that is war itself and ALWAYS for the benefit of those RULERS. Politicians and generals do not make war, they only manage it. Those who 'make' war are the pure psychopathic cliques who dominate the hierarchical structures that is universal Human social structure and whose poison flows down into all of us so that they might take, using us, what another such clique has. And the rest of us are manipulated with techniques many thousands of years old that we now call 'political science' including programming from infancy in the lies of obedience to Authority and a religioid belief in ones 'leaders'. Humans, en masse, are simple in structure and behaviors and there is little difference between groups other than words and labels, particularly 'us' and 'them', that can be seen when looking beneath the superficiality most of us live our lives upon like water bugs. And when we allow war to be made, there are no 'winners' or 'losers' among the grief stricken people mourning their dead beloveds, only among those who profit from the murder. It is those who are the WAR CRIMINALS but they are invisible to us, hidden by the politicians and generals. If we ever hope to end WAR, it is THEY who we must learn to recognize and END first.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

All Japanese government officials should visit Yasukuni Shrine every year.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

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