Yasukuni Shrine, located in Tokyo, Japan, is dedicted to over 2,466,000 Japanese soldiers and servicemen who died fighting on behalf of the Emperor of Japan in the last 150 years. It also houses one of the few Japanese war museums dedicated to World War II.The shrine is at the center of an international controversy by honoring war criminals convicted by a post World War II court including 14 'Class A' war criminals. Japanese politicans, including prime ministers and cabinet members have paid visits to Yasukuni Shrine in recent years which caused criticism and protests from China, Korea, and Taiwan.
HK protesters rally at consulate
Dozens of protesters rallied at the Japanese consulate in Central over Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to Yasukuni Shrine.
The Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands and the Hong Kong Coalition for Preserving the History of World War II in Asia held a vigil at City Hall Memorial Garden before marching to the consulate, where they set light to an imperial Japanese flag. They were joined by the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), trade unions, youth groups, and legislators waving banners, chanting slogans and banging their shoes against the nameplate of the consulate, demanding an apology for war atrocities and compensation.
'The Japanese were criminals during the war, killing millions and causing pain and suffering throughout China and Hong Kong,' said Lo Chau, of the Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands. 'For him to visit the shrine on the anniversary of the war, to pay tribute to the criminals who committed all those atrocities, is absolutely unacceptable.'
DAB legislator Lau Kong-wah, who led a group of party members to the protest, said: 'Today was supposed to commemorate the end of the war. For Koizumi to visit the shrine at such a sensitive time shows his attitude towards Japan's role in the war to be indifferent.'