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  • Dec 28, 2014
  • Updated: 5:25am

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. 

NewsAsia
DIPLOMACY

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
 

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27 Dec 2013
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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
XINHUA COMMENTARY

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

M Miyagi
stim
If your parents gave birth to a donkey instead of you it would be better. Is a mother a comfort-woman? You should go live in Japan and see the yakuza tear you to pieces.
bpoon1pc
It is sad that everything is orchestrated with the sole purpose of creating high profile conflict with China and Korea with the support and agreement of US at the back! It is crystal clear on the intention of Japanese government to create political tension and conflict with China creating a sense that "a war is coming"so that it can shift the economic problem by depreciating the yen and increase local tax continuously. The tension pushes China to react and increase the possibiilty of military conflict which increase the legitimacy of Chinese to upgrade their defense to offense weapon. The evil mind behind what Abe and his government is doing should be condemed by sensable human being who wants to avoid war. Abe also picked a very sensitive time to go to the Shrine - Yesterday - Dec 26th, was the 120th birthday of Mao! Everything is calculated to the fine detail. When it is the right time, US will have a chat with Dali Lama in the White House. By then, the conflict will be upgraded to next level. As US basically solves the energy problem with energy surplus now, US will return to East, 2014 is a year of conflict in Asia. How can this be a Christmas gift after Christmas day! All citizens around the world love peace; politians love to create conflict to justify their presence!
gcmaster
Abe unnecessaily provoking neighbours, what is he thinking. Japan should focus on the economics but bring out old antagonism from War time era. Japan have $10 trillion debt and 20 years of stagnation and Abenomics is only a half success. I am starting to think Shinzo Abe is a moron.
lamlm38
Since he cant fix the economic he is trying divert ppl's attention to something else..
hongkiejj@malaysiaboleh
the obvious difference is that the Japanese soldiers did not land and occupy USA...if they would have conducted mass slaughter and beheading ..etc...etc ..you will not be the one commenting on grudges.
beside, this is not a question of grudges but rather the visit is a bloody insult !
A Kuro
Yes the brave Filipinos liberated the Philippines all by themselves and General McArthur didn't land at Palo Beach, Leyte on 20 October 1944. What distortion of facts and history. Like the Japanese fascists say all the time, the Filipina Comfort-woman must all have been willing volunteers only too happy to be in the service of Imperial Japanese soldiers. Even Jesus Christ would be considered a devil by you.
hongkiejj@malaysiaboleh
load of bull...japan went after china during the civil war and took advantage of the chaotic situation. japan was stuck in china and your troops were bogged down. all other countries had no choice.
Malaysia and Singapore were invaded and your tiger general nickname there was butchering especially overseas Chinese there and I suppose abe the joker is thinking he has the asean to support him ...DREAM ON !
lamlm38
Mao didnt send any SK to the gas chamber or murdered prisoner of wars.. those are the big difference!!! if your grandma were raped by some JPs and the rapist never bother to apologize how would you feel? I'm assuming that you are a human being here!!!!
johnh
@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.
johnh
@hongkiejj
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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