• Fri
  • Jul 25, 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
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Japan wants talks with China, Korea on Yasukuni Shrine

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 January, 2014, 5:39pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 January, 2014, 2:55pm
 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that he wants to explain to leaders in China and South Korea about his visits to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honours the country’s war dead, but Beijing again called on him to correct his views on Japan’s role in World War II.

Abe said that Japan has not made any direct overtures, but he hopes the leaders can meet to help resolve antagonism over territorial disputes and historical issues.

I would really like to explain the intent of my visits to the Yasukuni Shrine directly to them
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

“At the moment, there is no plan for a summit meeting, but since there are some difficulties and issues we should be speaking together without setting any preconditions,” he told reporters after making a new year’s visit to the Grand Shrine of Ise, in western Japan.

“I would really like to explain the intent of my visits to the Yasukuni Shrine directly to them,” Abe said. “We are not making any direct approach on this, but the door to dialogue is open. I would like to hold Japan-China and Japan-South Korea summit meetings.”

Japan colonized Korea and occupied parts of China before and during World War II and that often brutal legacy taints relations with its neighbours decades later. China and South Korea reacted angrily to Abe’s Dec. 26 visit to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, where 14 class A war criminals are enshrined among the 2.5 million war dead.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has said earlier Abe won’t be welcome in Beijing until he admits his mistake.

On Monday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that to improve relations with Beijing, Abe “needs to correctly view and deeply reflect on the Japan’s militarist history of external invasion and colonialism, show sincerity and make concrete efforts to improve ties with neighbouring countries.”

“Judging from his moves, Prime Minister Abe is hypocritical when he pays lip-service to improving relations with China. It is he himself who closed the door to dialogue with China,” she said in a daily briefing.

Abe has said Japan should never wage war again, though he favours strengthening the military and revising the country’s pacifist constitution. That agenda is popular with some Japanese, though polls show the majority are more concerned about the economy.

“I am confident that we can gain understanding ... if we firmly explain the Abe administration’s pro-active pacifism,” he said.

After a year in office, Abe said he was confident that the economy was in a stable recovery and he exhorted the public to persevere in overcoming hardships. He vowed to cushion the economy from any adverse impact due to a sales tax increase due to take effect April 1.

“We are at the point where we may escape from 15 years of deflation and we must not let it slip away,” said Abe, who is urging companies to raise wages to help offset the inflation resulting from ultra-loose monetary policies intended to rev up growth.

“I want a fresh start with a fighting spirit and sense of urgency,” he said.

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This article is now closed to comments

saiyajin
How's this for compromise & understanding?
China should refrain from criticizing all present & future visits to the Yasukuni shrine by Japanese political leaders if & only if the latter starts by presenting a written apology, laying a wreath & giving a prayer at the Nanjing Massacre memorial?
lexishk
saiyajin, I have no idea if that'd be acceptable to each side, but it's one of the first constructive suggestions I've heard, well done. If we can do it, surely the leaders of Japan and China can do it too...
J R
The Japanese rightists being catastrophically defeated with their evil values proven bankrupt had to lick their wounds but remained a big force in Japan to this day as represented by Shinzo Abe and the LDP and evil symbols like the Yasukuni War Shrine. So when Japanese rightists like Mr Abe and his supporters pay homage to war-criminals at the Yasukuni War Shrine, the message they are conveying is that they want to wipe out the humiliation of their defeat in WWII, to white-wash their barbaric history of failure and to overturn the international order established after WWII and to restore Japan into what it was before the humiliating defeat in 1945. Japan have a lot of explaining to do!!!
J R
That also explains the biological warfare unit 731 in North East China in which horrendous experiments were conducted on prisoners, the sacrifice of a quarter of the civilian population in the Battle of Okinawa in 1945 etc. It mattered little since Okinawans were conquered people. While Japanese fascists were very happy to inflict death and destruction on others including the ordinary Japanese themselves, after the two atomic bombings their courage to fight on in the face of superior firepower evaporated. So in accepting the unconditional surrender of Japan in 1945, the Japanese fascists betrayed their own evil values and culture and the humiliation was total. However, in their calculations, occupation by the US no matter how humiliating was still better than being occupied by the Soviet Union and others. At least the US wouldn’t be so hard on them and the possibility of another fascist revival after US occupation ended was better than if the Soviets were the occupiers. For the US, Japan was a war price not to be discarded giving the Japanese nature of being obedient to their conquerors. The God Emperor was relegated into becoming a constitutional monarch. Ordinary Japanese realising that they have been cheated by the fascists established a pacifist constitution. The Japanese rightists being catastrophically defeated with their evil values proven bankrupt had to lick their wounds but remained a big force in Japan to this day as represented by Shinzo Abe and the LDP and evil s
J R
Mr Abe will never be able to explain away his provocative actions praying to war-criminals. Nobody is silly enough to believe his lies. After the Meiji restoration of Japan, Japan became a militaristic and fascist country with the Emperor of Japan as a Shinto God. Japanese fascists leaders started forcing the Japanese into becoming obedient subjects with the God Emperor at the head. They cheated and lied to the Japanese population about things like Bushido and how to be cruel to other peoples especially the weaker and more backward. Any Japanese with other ideas were systematically eliminated or killed. With most opposition in Japan destroyed, the Japanese fascists started the invasion and looting of Asia in which Japanese atrocities were exceptionally barbaric. It is in this context that the Rape of Nanking in which 300,000 thousand civilian Chinese were butchered, the hundred of thousands of comfort-women, the loot all, kill all, burn all policy happened only to be followed by the sneak attack on Pearl Harbour plunging Japan into a total war with the US and her Allies. At that time, in Japanese eyes all the world especially Asia was for them to conquer and subjugate. Because of the evil teachings of Bushido and Shinto, POWs were massacred on the believe that they like the Japanese soldiers shouldn’t have surrendered in the first place. That also explains the biological warfare unit 731 in North East China in which horrendous experiments were conducted on prisoners, the sacr
lexishk
Why not talk, China patriots? Barking at Abe from behind your own gate solves nothing.
mercedes2233
Abe knew what he was doing in visiting the shrine. Having offended his neighbours, he now wants to talk! A bit late, isn't it?
ngsw
Everytime Japan’s wartime atrocities are addressed , someone will come out to whitewash it by pushing the focus to Mao atrocities. These people are as shameless as the Abe regime.
Adrian P
Mao was a ruthless strategist. But it doesn't change the fact of the war crimes the Japanese committed in China. The Japanese now often use a similar argument: Look what you communist party did to the Chinese people, and how dare you criticize us? Well, my bad doesn't make your bad OK.
johnh
Why should Abe have to apologize or explain for WW2 if Mao Zedong thanked the Japanese for their invasion? (Let the Commie hypocrisy begin...)

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