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.
Taiwan activists rally against ‘Japanese militarism’
Agence France-Presse in Taipei
Dozens of angry Taiwanese set fire to a giant model of a Japanese warship in a rally on Thursday after Japanese lawmakers and cabinet ministers visited a controversial Tokyo shrine.
The demonstrators vented their anger outside Japan’s de facto embassy in Taipei, burning a model of “Izumo”, a helicopter carrier. Japan’s biggest warship since the second world war, the Izumo was unveiled early this month.
Chanting slogans such as “Down with Japanese militarism”, the group accused Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of trying to expand Japan’s military.
In a statement, Taiwan’s foreign ministry urged “the Japanese government and some political figures to learn from the lessons of history and refrain from doing anything that hurt the feelings of people in the neighbouring countries”.
Japan’s conservative prime minister broke with two decades of tradition Thursday by omitting any expression of remorse over the country’s past aggression in Asia on the anniversary of its second world war surrender.
Abe’s speech – which came after nearly 100 lawmakers including two cabinet ministers visited the Yasukuni war shrine – avoided typical words such as “profound remorse” and “sincere mourning” used by his predecessors to atone for those who suffered as the Imperial Japanese Army stormed across East Asia.
Taiwan was colonised by Japan for half a century until 1945 when Japan surrendered at the end of the second world war.