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  • Apr 18, 2014
  • Updated: 3:42am

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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  • Yes: 29%
  • No: 71%
27 Dec 2013
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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
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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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?
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.
M Miyagi
john.lone.75
A miserable git like you not only a piece of **** but a low-life. Why not get yourself enshrined in the Yasukuni Shrine? Abe will be happy to pray to you.
stim
Not only spirits of war criminals but also other soldiers are honoured in Yasukuni Shrine. Furthermore, the shrine was founded on 1869 which was about 80 years ago from WWII. Hence, it is totally misleading to see the shrine as Hitler’s grave or as a symbol of militarism of Japan. Shinzo Abe just prayed for them.
It is very common for the leader of a nation to pray for people who fought for the nation and died. Otherwise, any national of the nation and would not fight for the nation at the risk of his own life. Shinzo Abe did the right thing as the leader of Japan.
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!
XYZ
The political tension is all China's doing. They could choose to ignore or downplay Yasukuni visits if they liked.
XYZ
I think the Chinese and Korean governments make way too much of these Yasukuni Shrine visits by Japanese politicians. It makes the leaders of these countries appear to be whingeing pussies who are more interested in expressing their faux outrage and wallowing in their oh-so-precious victimhood than getting on with improving their peoples' lives.
babyhenry
I suppose they should act like the Americans and just start a war, just so they can proove their man hood eh?
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..
Max Diethelm
Obviously the standard of decent behaviour in Europe and Asia are very different. If the chancellor of Germany were to go to a shrine of some sort to pay homage to anything with any links to Nazism, Europe, the Jews and the Americas will be in uproar. The condemnation would have been swift, severe and widespread. Fortunately Chancellor Merkel is a very decent human being with no fascism in her blood and would never do such a terrible thing. That Shinzo Abe the Prime Minister of Japan can go to the Yasukuni Shrine to pay homage to the Japanese war dead including the 14 war-criminals hanged by the Allied War Tribunal and not cause widespread uproar in Asia is surprising. Only China and Korea seem to have responded appropriately to this act of provocation. Countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Phillipines, Myammar etc., which also suffered greatly because Japanese aggression don't seem to be reacting with outrage. It seems only the Koreas and China have the moral courage to stand up against Japanese barbarism.
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.
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!!!!
sam.gillespie.184
You mean there are convicted American war criminals buried at Arlington?
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
ong.andre.5
The British poisoned China with opium, the whole government became a complete decrepit.....so come another greedy one taking advantage of the shambles thought they could takeover. This kind of greed cannot go unpunished ....if it is not admitted, and repented.
Millions died by this greed....especially Nanking, where many were Buried ALIVE,,!!
Jonathan Smith
Japanese PM Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine is a message of hatred to the world. It is stating in no uncertain terms that Japan have no remorse about the immense suffering that Japanese atrocities caused in Asia such as the Colonisation of Korea and Taiwan, invasion of China and South East Asia as well as the Pacific War in which thousands of allied POWs were butchered. Just like the surprise attack on Pearl Harbour in 1941 it will live in infamy forever. This is a horrendous message of hatred to the world and should be condemned in the strongest term possible. Japanese democracy have been hijacked by right-wing extremists and the path that Japan takes from now on is fraught with danger not only for the rest of the world but for Japan itself. If ordinary Japanese can see what their elected leaders are embarking on, they should stop them before it is too late. Adolf Hitler was also elected in a democratic process but the outcome have been disastrous for the world. Japanese democracy is now threatened by similar calamity in which the democratic process is being high-jacked by extremists. Shinzo Abe could be another Adolf Hitler.
daily
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!
superdx
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.
johnh
@hongkiejj
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.
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.
Jonathan Smith
mbophui
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
mbophui
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!
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.
hongkiejj@malaysiaboleh
@mbophui
BTW, the obvious difference is that the Japanese soldiers did not land and occupy USA...where did I say the usa had invaded Japan and will commit those atrocities...
which part do you need me to further clarify ??
hongkiejj@malaysiaboleh
@mbophui
Pure gibberish from your part...which part do you not understand about this shrine that you seem to worship and adore ? use your brain....if the Japanese troops were in any country based on what they were capable of doing dat time, do you honestly think they will not continue this slaughter....look into other countries they have invaded...did we pelted roses and a big welcome liberation banner for the ****...NO...they systematically continue their atrocities everywhere and those killers were enshrined there at your beloved YS.
and what business has Mao got to do with this shrine and exactly what is your point here ? did you not read A Kuro comment on your comment ???
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
You are right. If only the WWII Vets especially those US Marines who are still alive agrees with you. They must all be suffering from amnesia or have grown senile. Otherwise they will use you for some target practice with bayonets like the Japanese did in WWII. Not too long ago we see a lot of Japan bashing in the USA. Japanese have a sadistic syndrome and admire their conquerors and are extremely grateful to Truman for ending the war they started by dropping the two atomic bombs and subsequently hanging those class A war criminals now enshrined at the Yasukuni War Shrine. If your mother was a comfort-woman you wouldn't be such a **** unless you also suffer from the sadistic syndrome.
hongkiejj@malaysiaboleh
the visit is really expected and nothing out of the ordinary from abe. judging from his recent actions and preaching wherever he goes about the china threat,,blah blah blah....why should we be surprised by his visit.
abe is an idiot and will always be one...and to even suggest that only china and korea makes a big deal out of this while claiming that asean will back and understand him is nothing short of a joke.
J R
Normal people goes to Churches, Mosques or Temples to pray for good tidings especially on days like Boxing Day. Japanese fascists politicians including Shinzo Abe and members of the LDP goes to the Yasukuni War Shrine to pray to war-criminals. This is a form of Devil Worship. Shinzo Abe maternal grand father is a class A war criminal. After the Japanese unconditional surrender in 1945, the USA occupying forces failed to purge Japan of the fascism. This is why Japanese till this day do not take responsibility for their brutal and genocidal behaviour in the past. Japanese fascists have disavowed the suffering and massive destruction they caused in Asia like the Rape of Nanking in with 300,000 people were slaughtered or the hundred of thousands of women forced to become sex-slaves or comfort-women. They continuously insult the memory of Japanese victims. They claimed to have "liberated" Asia from colonialism by the white man but instead caused even more destruction. Japan launched the loot all, kill all and burn all war policy in Asia and by the end of 1945 just before the Atomic Bombings of Japan have looted an estimated 100 Billion USD (in 1945 dollars equivalent to 10 Trillion dollars in today terms) in gold, silver and other precious things like diamonds. Japanese lack of atonement for the invasion in Asia and for causing WWII makes Japan a recalcitrant country bordering on being uncivilised. Shinzo Abe and the LDP are fascists. Democracy in Japan is a farce.
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....
ejmciii
Actually, a fair number of Asian nations collaborated openly with the Japanese during the war and they too have never atoned. Indonesia for example worked with the Japanese because of the promise that the Japanese would release Indonesia from the Dutch. Thailand also openly collaborated. Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos all were at least passive given that the French had been conquered by the Germans and the Vichy but ceded to the Japanese. China's resistance to the Japanese was lukewarm at best as Mao and Chiang spent more time trying to defeat one another than the Japanese. The only ones who seem to have focused on challenging the Japanese are the Filipinos. And while China complains about the Japanese worshipping war criminals they are about to embark on a set of festivals to commemorate the birth of the man who drove the most notable mass murders of the 20th century. So who is worshipping devils, amigo?
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 !
A Kuro
You are welcome to enshrine yourself at the Yasukuni Shrine too.
johnh
Mao Zedong killed more Chinese than the Japanese ever did in WW2, or for that matter, in all of history
globe.harmony.1
Ignorance is boundless.
War crimes committed by war criminals against people of other countries are not internal affairs.
XYZ
Yes, but those criminals were tried, convicted and executed. Let the dead bury the dead.
reubenm
Wow. I thought China prided itself on "non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations." Guess not.

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