• Fri
  • Jul 25, 2014
  • Updated: 11:59pm

Yasukuni Shrine

Yasukuni Shrine, located in Tokyo, Japan, is dedicated 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 politicians, 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. 


Beijing and Seoul furious at Shinzo Abe's visit to Yasukuni Shrine

Japanese PM rebuked by coalition partner and the US after stoking tensions with neighbours

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 December, 2013, 10:05am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 December, 2013, 12:12pm


  • Yes: 29%
  • No: 71%
27 Dec 2013
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 328

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited a shrine yesterday that honours Japan's war dead, including convicted war criminals, infuriating China and South Korea and prompting a rare expression of concern from the US about deteriorating ties between the East Asian neighbours.

Instead of a pledge against war … the visit is a calculated provocation

China's Foreign Ministry called the visit to the Yasukuni Shrine a "brazen" act and later summoned Japan's ambassador to Beijing to express "strong opposition" to the visit.

"Japan must bear full responsibility for the serious political consequences," Foreign Minister Wang Yi was quoted as telling the Japanese ambassador.

A Xinhua commentary said: "Choosing a sensitive time to visit a highly controversial and notorious place, Abe knows perfectly what he is doing and the consequences. Instead of a pledge against war, as Abe has claimed, the visit is a calculated provocation to stoke further tension."

South Korea called Abe's visit "anachronistic behaviour".

"We can't help deploring and expressing anger at the prime minister's visit," Seoul's culture minister Yoo Jin-ryong said.

Television carried live video of Abe's motorcade making its way to the shrine, which honours Japan's 2.5 million war dead, including 14 class-A war criminals from the second world war. Abe bowed before following a Shinto priest into an inner sanctum.

A conservative who took office for a second term one year ago, Abe said criticism that visits to Yasukuni were an act of worshipping war criminals was based on a misunderstanding.

"Unfortunately, a Yasukuni visit has largely turned into a political and diplomatic issue," he said. "It is not my intention to hurt the feelings of the Chinese and Korean people."

Watch: Japan PM Abe visits Yasukuni war shrine

The US embassy in Tokyo said it was "disappointed that Japan's leadership has taken an action that will exacerbate tensions". It said the US "hopes that both Japan and its neighbours will find constructive ways to deal with sensitive issues from the past".

The head of Abe's coalition partner, the Buddhist-backed New Komeito - which had urged him not to make the pilgrimage - called the visit regrettable.

The Japanese embassy in Beijing warned its nationals to stay away from demonstrations and not congregate in big groups.

A meeting between Vice-Premier Liu Yandong and Japanese lawmakers scheduled for yesterday in Beijing was cancelled. But Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said the visit was a personal matter.

Reuters, Associated Press, Agence France-Presse


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This article is now closed to comments

It's likely this Abe guy thinks he's "high" enough to keep provoking the Chinese and other Asian communities by visiting the shrine at his own free will, to worship those who caused endless pain for so many people during WWII. If he cannot even realize this, then I think it's really time to drop another nuke on Japan, and this time, hope they drop it right onto the shrine.
M Miyagi
Shinzo Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine is very controversial because 14 Class A war criminals including Hideki Tojo are interred there. It is very likely to do great damage to the relationship with Korea and China, not to say other countries that were victims of Japanese aggression. Anybody decent human being condemn this affront to humanity. Those commenters using this sad occasion to attack the Chinese and Koreans are not only provocateurs but are scums and low-lifes. These people should be put out of their misery. If you can't be a human being you should go to hell!
You know, American soldiers fought the Japanese as well. And each year to commemorate Pearl Harbour, veterans of both armies stand side by side. American POWs were similarly subjected to the brutality of the Imperial Japanese army. But only amongst Asian countries are old feuds from hundreds, if not thousands of years ago, continue to get dredged up and provoke nationalistic outrage. There's definitely something to be said for Asian countries - they'll never let go of a grudge.
It seems there's a misunderstanding between our topics...must be the language barrier. The only question you asked which I understood is, why bring up Mao Zedong when the article is regarding the Yasukuni Shrine. The answer is at this same moment when the CCP is criticizing the Japanese for committing their atrocities in China, they are also praising a man (Mao Zedong) who has caused even more death and suffering than the Japanese caused throughout the entire WW2. You DON'T think there was murder, rape, torture, starvation, etc. under the CCP?? And the death tolls, no comparison. More Chinese were killed in less time under the rule of the CCP.
no big deal...the misunderstanding is on your part and not mine for starters. I am cool about it and bear no grudges...but still, do refer to A Kuro @ 3.51pm for further clarification on your point.
Jonathan Smith
You seem to be so fascinated by the evil represented by the Yasukuni Shrine. Your strange and sinister views on Mao and the Japanese inverts logic on the head. If you are so lucky as to get yourself enshrined at the Yasukuni Shrine in the company of the 14 Class A War-criminals, Mr Abe will only too happy to pray to you too. What a great honour for you and your country!
M Miyagi
If you are not a coward and low-life go to China and repeat the nonsense you say. At best you will be put into a mental institution. Maybe you should be enshrined in the Yasukuni Shrine.
A Kuro
Your distortion of facts just prove what an idiot your are. Using your logic you can also say that Japanese leaders caused the death of millions of Japanese in WWII. No doubt all the Japanese deaths after WWII can also be blamed on Japanese leaders including the Fukushima disaster. By hating the Chinese and saying such nonsense only prove that you are something less than human!
@A Kuro
"Using your logic you can also say that Japanese leaders caused the death of millions of Japanese in WWII"
- Yes, undoubtedly
"No doubt all the Japanese deaths after WWII can also be blamed on Japanese leaders including the Fukushima disaster."
- Yes. Whoever the leadership was at the time.
You've just set up a "what if" argument saying if the US had invaded Japan they would have committed the same atrocities the Japanese did. This is sheer rubbish. No one can say what if because it never happened. And if you studied the tract records of US military, you'd know they were some of the most humane soldiers in the war, especially compared to the Japanese, Nazis, or the Soviets. If you dislike the Yusukuni Shrine, you should take note of the current celebration in China, for the greatest mass murder-er in human history, Mao Zedong. Who by the way, caused more Chinese deaths than the Japanese ever caused in all of history.




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