• Mon
  • Dec 29, 2014
  • Updated: 1:23am

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

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

daily
Simply put, just a hypocrite trying to find a way to "fix" his ignorance in visiting the Shrine.........I am sure he intended to go with the sense of worshipping the Japanese war criminals.......he's just too chicken to admit it.......show some balls and live up to your own actions.
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.
carmeledwin
He is only trying to obey his American master, Obama. In fact, he is a hypocrite, for we can see that he is attempting to beautify Japan's actions of the last war, their killing of so many people in Asia, especially South Korea and China. Yes, it is obvious that he only intended to worship the war criminals. Right now he is trying to change the constitution from peace keeping to war making. He is also trying to change a defense force into an army for overseas operations. What is that telling us? Especially with Japan's past record?
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.
sonofdad
Abe is deliberately provoking China because a rabid, warmongering China gives Japan perfect justification before the U.S. and the world to drop its pacifist constitution and become a so-called "normal" nation (pause and consider the thinking behind that label). Both the U.S. and China have been playing right into his hands. In the meantime you can expect to see lots of feints like this seemingly fair-minded non-overture, which he knows he can safely make without risking any kind of commitment while looking like the voice of reason. This is why Chinese people are generally pretty stupid and unsophisticated; if they were smarter they'd keep their cool and not let themselves be manipulated so cheaply with barren rocks and death-cult priests like a bunch of wild dogs.
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?
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?
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...)
johnh
@J R
Mao Zedong thanked the Japanese for all those atrocities you mentioned
M Miyagi
mbophui
Mao Zedong also thanked the Japanese that you are an offspring of comfort-women. Japan also thanks you.
johnh
@Professors of t...
War is hell, as the saying goes. There are countless stories of horrific atrocities throughout the world during WW2, and the Japanese were arguably the most brutal aggressor of them all. That should never be forgotten. The issue is that the manner in which the Communist Party of China invokes these incidents has little or nothing to do with progress, resolution, or even retribution. It simply has everything to do with diverting attention away from their internal problems. It's a tactic called Scapegoating, which has been in use since the dawn of civilization by governments seeking control over the masses. Many other countries were also affected by Japan's brutal aggression, yet they have since made resolution and progress with Japan. Nowadays, most countries in Asia, and the World are on good terms with Japan. Let's not forget that Japan itself was basically incinerated by the US bombing raids, even prior to the Atomic bomb. And now they are both partners in the International community. As long as Chinese people allow ourselves to continually play the victim, the CCP will gladly continue to take advantage of this for their gain. As someone once said, "The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."
johnsonwkchoi
[美國導演奧利弗·斯通表示,安倍不值得信任 這部影片被禁止在日本 American director Oliver Stone said Abe cannot be trusted - This video is banned in Japan] U.S. film director Oliver Stone Hiroshima speech - American director Oliver Stone in the "Atomic Bomb Memorial Day" on the occasion of visit Hiroshima and gave a speech, compared to Germany and Japan after World War II as, fiery criticism of Japan's political situation and government leaders to reflect on the United States, Japan and China relations , by the case of the Diaoyu Islands, China, the U.S. analysis of the status quo, that the United States intended to return to Asia by Japan to contain China, but most Japanese media without making detailed report. ****www.youtube.com/watch?v=7a8LJbV48Pc
ngsw
mbophul, are you sure? Mao thanked Japanese for their post-war aids or thanked their wartime atrocities? Or you are just making everything out in a bid to vindicate the Japanese war crimes?
johnh
@ngsw
Japanese crimes & CCP crimes belong in the same category.
lexishk
In any case, unless China intends to perennially bask in victimhood, both sides need to get together, make their points and hear each other's views. Perhaps then understanding and compromise can be reached, potentially including appropriate apologies etc. I have no patience for Chinese whining about past atrocities if they refuse to take any mature steps to participate in resolving the issues.
Professors of the Hall
@lexishk
Thank you for taking the time to read my comment. I would just like to bring something to your attention. I acknowledge the fact that the two countries should use diplomacy. However, I would appreciate it if you imagine this situation. Imagine if you were forced to eat nails, have your legs cut off, get bamboos thrust through your intestines, have body parts set on fire, and have fingernails pulled out, all while hearing the screams of your country's people, family, loved ones and friends as they were gruesomely and horrifically starved, raped, mutilated, eaten, and then killed. How would you feel? Now imagine that you write about your experiences in the newspaper, and demand an apology, and then someone comes to you and says: "Hey, stop whining! I don't have patience for people like you!" I would honestly like to ask you: "How would you feel"? In addition, the reason that China keeps basking in victimhood is because the Japanese government has never officially apologised for those actions. The actions which have rendered millions of elderly Chinese people limbless, scarred, and broken for the rest of their lives, all the while weeping in memory of their loved ones who died because of those atrocities. I'd like to end by saying that, as I am of Chinese descent, you have thoroughly offended me, as well as all the innocent Chinese people who experienced the torture of the war.
lexishk
@mbophui, thanks, I came back to say something similar.
-
@professors... WWII was a time of atrocity. German Nazis tortured and murdered many millions in Europe. Japanese perpetrated rape and slaughter in Nanking and around Asia. Americans dropped conventional and nuclear bombs on Japan, burning the living flesh from hundreds of thousands of victims. Non-combatants suffered in all these incidents. These are all vile, horrendous acts which continue to reverberate through the generations.
-
I am not suggesting that any of this be denied or whitewashed. To the extent that it is, such denial should be the focus of criticism, and continuing efforts should be made to spread understanding and educate future generations in a way that promotes peace and seeks to prevent recurrence. If you ever visit Hiroshima, you will see that particular city has taken exactly that approach. It takes a great deal of strength and maturity.
-
Perhaps we don't see that approach from Abe at this time, but the way forward is, as we agree, through diplomacy and suggestion, both to his domestic audience (which he stirs up, just as the Chinese leadership stirs up theirs) and to the international community. Hyperbole is not persuasive (is there evidence of the cannibalism you cite?) and your words merely incite retributive anger from the Chinese point of view.
-
From both the ideological and military points of view: "those who would wish for war, prepare for it." Only fools would hope for this.
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
ngsw
Like Mao like Abe. Hope they soon meet each other and have a dinner together.

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