I think that the whole criticism of the Yasukuni shrine can be explained at least partially by simple cultural ignorance. I know from sociology of the family that the basic principle of a traditional Japanese family is to perpetuate their ancestors, but that's not a global standard. There is a norm that exist let's say in most of Europe that infamous people should not be praised in any way, regardless their power or symbolic status. The sole fact of perpetuating ancestors is considered something non-obligatory and eccentric in a way. China on the other hand has turned against their own traditions when it adapted communism.
Another thing is the role of a male in a traditional Japanese family. That seemingly irrelevant fact leads me to believe that if Mr Abe is not going to go to Yasukuni himself, he will tell another family member to do so (or some fellow politicians, "lawmakers").
Abe still seems to be unaware of the perception of his actions. He probably sees it as the best thing a Japanese person can do in his position, while completely ignoring international politics.
My personal opinion is that he should make a grand gesture towards countries that are biased against Japan in general. There is still an infamous place called Mimizuka - "The Nose Mound" which is very well known to Korean people. It was a war trophy created during the Japanese invasion of Korea in the late 16th century. Why can't the Japanese government just dismantle the site and send the remnants to Korea where they belong? It would mean metaphorically that Japan is able to understand that Korea is an independent country and should stay that way. Sadly, knowing the reality I would say that even if it would be a significant act of reconciliation, it won't happen. Especially when there used to be a plaque in that place with an unfeeling comment that said "One cannot say that cutting off noses was so atrocious by the standard of the time." On such grounds, every war crime ever is justified because the blurry idea of "standards of time".
-3 ( +4 / -7 )
I thought that's what you have close friends for (and you don't need to pay them). You'd really need to be desperate to try something like that.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
It is only my personal opinion, but I think Japan would be in the best situation if it took inspiration from the Swiss. Redefine the role of army to become politically independent, not allow foreign military on its land and pledge "eternal neutrality" - declaration not to engage in any military conflicts. All other options will create conflicts which Japan doesn't need.
6 ( +8 / -2 )
I respect everyone's right to have their own opinions. Ethnology teaches people to respect even weirdest customs, so why all the racket about a woman who tries to live by the rules of her religion. Oh, I forgot - everyone on the Internet blames religion for all evil on Earth.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
You know the situation is serious when Mr Abe doesn't wear his favorite golden tie.
-2 ( +0 / -2 )
Come on, telling that something is a "tradition" is an insufficient justification. For the same reasons Japan could reintroduce crucifixion as a form of capital punishment. After all, human specie isn't endangered by the fact that some amount of people are crucified. What about ritual cannibalism in the ancient tribes of central America? It's a tradition too, you know. And its intention was to keep the world intact. To make it clear - that was sarcastic. My point is that traditions are sometimes abandoned and people are glad about it.
2 ( +4 / -2 )
It's not just that people are evil and hate immigrants. Europeans have reasons to feel threatened by the growing presence of immigrants who may not respect the laws and culture of countries they migrate to. And since in human minds fear is followed by anger, things like that will happen more often.
2 ( +3 / -1 )
That's just great. Everyone has something to say about Syria, with the small exception of the Syrian government. If only conflict in Syria wasn't a satellite conflict between the US and Russia in the first place. Syria has become the new "boiling pot", inheriting this title after the Balkans. Whatever happens there will only make things worse.
-1 ( +1 / -2 )
Europe opens its doors? It's a joke, right? Those "refugees" broke into the EU territories and stomped on all legal regulations there are on immigrants. EU has no means to see which people are refugees and which are economic migrants who just want to get a free pass to the "Promised Land" of Germany and other wealthy countries. That's it - they don't want just peace, they want wealth. And the majority of those people are men - why so? Wouldn't they be coming with their entire families? Or maybe men migrate because they want to earn cash to send it home? That would mean they have no reason to be called "refugees" in the first place.
10 ( +11 / -1 )
I voted "no" because I don't want to give nationalists an argument against foreigners in Japan. If such rights were given, we'd probably hear comments on how "Gaijins interrupt Japanese politics".
1 ( +2 / -1 )
You can see regular pictures of the sun on the SOHO website. Sunspots are observed because of the impact they have on temperature on Earth and because of the fact they are related to geomagnetic storms. Last time I checked, there were 3 small spots, marked as 2409, 2411, 2412
-1 ( +0 / -1 )
That's some serious OCD.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
Creating such classifications is something I abandoned long time ago. To believe in such categorizations is to simply turn off your rational thinking and replace it with predefined set of definitions. That's the shortest way to prejudice and judging people you know nothing about.
4 ( +5 / -1 )
I bet mister Shinzo Abe feels a lot better criticizing China than facing their criticism. Xi Jinping organized a huge military parade and said that "China will always uphold the path of peaceful development" - how do multiple border disputes make China peaceful? Now Shinzo Abe says something about not focusing on "unfortunate history", while he himself visited the controversial Yasukuni shrine provoking negative comments. Both politics appear to have a deficit of sincerity, their words are highly populist and a mere smoke and mirrors. You don't have to be a genius to come to such conclusion.
-1 ( +2 / -3 )
Posted in: Letters from Japan: 'Sex isn’t fun anymore'