• Sun
  • Dec 28, 2014
  • Updated: 12:51pm

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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norodnik
I can't recall the US apologizing to the people and government of Vietnam for the war crimes (including chemical warfare) against that nation. As superdx said above, get over it, and besides the CCP killed more of its own citizens than the Japanese ever did in China...but that's an "internal" matter that is nobody's business....
babyhenry
All the Japanese have to do is to remove those war criminals from the shrine and openly shame them, but that is too much to ask for.
Of course then there are those idiotic China bashers and say that mao killed more. Yeah we know that, and no I didnt and am not praising Mao, for all I know if the Japanese never invaded China during the fight between KMT and CCP, the KMT would've exterminated the CCP and there wouldn't be a Mao in the first place. Yes Mao took advantage of the Japanese invasion and thanks to them the KMT lost their golden opportunity to exterminate Mao and the CCP came in to power. So yeah thanks a bunch Japan. So next time you remind me of Mao you mindless China bashers, it was the Japanese invasion that gave Mao and the CCP the opportunity to survive and win the civil war.
johnh
"it was the Japanese invasion that gave Mao and the CCP the opportunity to survive and win the civil war."
Mao Zedong personally thanked the Japanese delegation for that. Both sides need some serious reexamining to do
shuike
This time the US & UN stepped in with their disapproval. But this wasn't reported in details. Moreover, reading the SCMP, you'd think this is a personal fued between China/Japan. It mentions the S. Korean objection only obliquely. How bias can this be?
andao
Yesterday the Chinese politburo visited the mausoleum of a man who killed 1 million South Koreans. By your definition, S. Korea isn't responding appropriately, right? I haven't seen any angry editorials in South Korean media. Every time Obama visits Arlington Cemetery, Vietnam, Germany, Italy, and Japan should all be outraged, right?
Or maybe that the rest of the world sans China and South Korea has actually grown up and realizes that the past is in the past.
sam.gillespie.184
You mean there are convicted American war criminals buried at Arlington?
A Kuro
You are welcome to enshrine yourself at the Yasukuni Shrine too.
john.lone.75
China is in no position to judge Japanese about visiting Yasukuni Shrine. Mao Zedong and Deng Xaoping both are war criminals aggression against Tibet, Ughur, India, and Vietnam. They are not only war criminals but butchers against their own people, millions of chinese died under Mao Zedong and Deng Xaoping. Chinese protested this latest issue is a farce.
andao
there are certainly war criminals buried at Arlington...the only reason they weren't convicted is because the US never had to surrender to anyone
hongkiejj@malaysiaboleh
@mbophui
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.

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