• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 10:44am

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. 


US military advised against troops visiting Japan's war-linked shrine

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 17 August, 2014, 9:41am
UPDATED : Sunday, 17 August, 2014, 2:59pm

US military leaders in Japan advised against a planned visit by some of their troops to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo in early April, before US President Barack Obama’s visit to the Japanese capital, apparently out of consideration to South Korea and China, a US military source said on Saturday.

US Forces Japan headquarters warned against the visit to the controversial shrine by more than 20 troops, leading to the trip’s cancellation, according to the source.

The Shinto shrine honours past Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals, along with millions of war dead. Beijing and Seoul see it as a symbol of Tokyo’s past militarism and wartime aggression.

“USFJ did not instruct or otherwise order the group to not visit the shrine in April, but did offer some advice that the timing of their scheduled visit was not ideal. As such, the trip organiser elected to cancel the visit,” a USFJ public affairs officer said.

Separately, a US serviceman who had previously visited the shrine with a member of Japan’s Self-Defence Forces declined to do so again after the warning, the source said.

Obama toured Asia in late April as part of his renewed focus on the region. The trip was partly aimed at mending ties between Japan and South Korea that had been frayed by differing perceptions of wartime history and a territorial dispute.

A trip to Yasukuni by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last December sparked strong criticism from South Korea and China. The United States also expressed “disappointment” at his visit, which escalated tensions between Japan and its neighbours.

The US military was likely concerned that a trip to the shrine by its troops around the time of Obama’s visit would be seen by Japan’s neighbouring countries as implicit approval of Abe’s view of wartime history, which some consider to be revisionist.

According to newsletters for supporters of the shrine, 25 members of a helicopter unit at the US Navy’s Atsugi base in Kanagawa Prefecture, southwest of Tokyo, and the commander of the naval air facility visited Yasukuni in 2005 and 2009, respectively.


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This article is now closed to comments

Only the retarded such as Abe would even consider going to the shrine.
M Miyagi
The US is becoming like imperial Japan. After all the invasions, barbarism like Abu Ghraib, it is no surprise that US soldiers are confused enough to pray to the Japanese war criminals at the Yasukuni War Shrine, the very same war criminals that planned Pear harbour in 1941 and slaughtered American POWs. The US occupation of Japan after her unconditional surrender in 1945 is a failure, because the US didn't discharge her moral responsibilities to expunge Japanese fascism like in Germany. 69 years of occupation and sleeping with the enemy, the US have become like the enemy. What shame and dishonour!
Daniel Lee
The US is becoming retarded, going to the extent to praying to the war criminals that murdered Americans.
P Blair
If the US military can pray to Japanese war criminals at the Yasukuni War Shrine, they should also pray to Hitler at a new shrine to Hitler they should build at the Pentagon. And the USA should be called the Useless S c u m s A r s e h o l e s.
American soldiers are plainly ignorant of the fact that Tojo and other **** who planned and executed the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the destruction of American pacific fleet were enshrined in the devil's altar.
**** are extremely sneaky people and very likely do not tell the naïve America soldiers the war criminals who murdered hundreds of thousands of Americans are in the shrine.
I just can't imagine Americas soldiers could be this idiotic to pay homage to the killers of their forefathers.
Americans are not good at history and are easily misled by tricky ****.
Just hear the hue and cry now about China threat whipped up by media and entertainment industry heavily influenced by **** companies.
Pretty soon some Americans might believe it was China not **** that destroyed PH.
Abe and the entire Japanese cabinet should make yearly visit to Nanjing and ask for forgiveness for the Japanese wartime atrocities in China
Nationalists, whether moderate or strong, understand and honor nationalists from other countries and can sympathize their acts such as visiting the Yasukuni by the Japanese people; two boxers will fight fiercely with each other but still pay respects at the tombs of their former foe. The justice and injustice of a war is more often than not unclear.
The Americans know their history and had long since been ready to put it behind for the present and future. China and Korea can do the same thing.
May peace prevail on Earth.
If the Japanese would remove any reference to the 14 "Class A" war criminals from the shrine, would this change anything? Doubtful. It's just a way to keep the whole controversy alive. The generation that was involved in the war is dying out. Soon they will all be gone. Does this make any difference? Of course not. Hate is a powerful emotion.


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