U.S. disappointed by Abe's Yasukuni visit; China, S Korea protest

Picture expired. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, right, pictured during his visit to the controversial Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo on Thursday. AFP

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  • 12

    papigiulio

    Was to be expected. Not a smart move by Abe, a man in his position should know better. Let's just hope it stays with complaints.

  • 3

    Jeffrey Rolek

    It just never ends with Abe.

  • -16

    CGB Spender

    Ironically,the US would do the same if it where in this situation. South Korea: honoring people who have died is never anachronistic behavior. Unless you're a bunch of low-life's without any conscience.

  • -18

    CrisGerSan

    I am proud of Abe, as an American Citizen i am very very glad and approve totally of his visit and disavow the silly and shallow and totally unjustified comments of a negative nature by other governemnts who would be better to mind their own business over this kind of issue. The US has no right to criticize another nation for honours its own war dead. We dont hear Japan criticizing the US for honours its war dead when many of them carried out huge attacks on innocent unarmed Japanese civilians in WWII. Equal rights to the respect given to our ancestors should be the correct path for any modern nation. In the end largely this is a media and a political non story blown up into a huge fuss to make ratings, sell news and to try to make political hay. Well done Abe well done.

  • -4

    edojin

    Japan is a free country. Concerning Yasukuni Shrine, Abe should be able to do as he pleases. So should anyone else. As is now a tradition with me ... I'll visit Yasukuni on New Year's Day along with many, many other people. Despite its wartime past, I find it to be a peaceful, serene shrine ...

  • 0

    dcog9065

    Good on Abe. The last thing he should do is legitimise SK and China's weepings by not visiting the shrine to honour all those who died in WW2. Imagine if someone told the US that they're leaders can't honour ANY their war veterans on Veterans Day because a handful of them committed some war crimes.

  • 14

    G.MAL.O.Q

    I keep hearing that it would be difficult to move the 14 tablets representing the souls of the war criminals out of the temple but why is it so ?

  • -2

    Cricky

    Mumbo jumbo ....can not get more pathetic.

  • -1

    kuuku

    looks like there is no response from the PM regarding such reactions to his yasukuni visit,,perhaps nothing happens to him or maybe the media did not reach out to him or any of his spokesperson (and i think that causes bias)..it will be good if they can have their views as well..

  • -5

    gokai_wo_maneku

    That statement from the US Embassy was blah, blah, blah. Was that written by Ambassador Kennedy? She uses big words like "exacerbate".

  • -4

    igloobuyer

    edojinDEC. 26, 2013 - 04:36PM JST Japan is a free country. Concerning Yasukuni Shrine, Abe should be able to do as he pleases. So should anyone else. As is now a tradition with me ... I'll visit Yasukuni on New Year's Day along with many, many other people. Despite its wartime past, I find it to be a peaceful, serene shrine ...

    Let's not forget that Japan made a promise to China and Korea that Japan's leader would never visit Yasakuni shrine. Do you condone a nation breaking it's promise to another nation?

  • -3

    karjai

    Abe is finished.

  • -3

    hidingout

    “The essence of Japanese leaders’ visits to the Yasukuni shrine is to beautify Japan’s history of militaristic aggression and colonial rule,” Qin said.

    This Qin fellow is a real piece of work. Mr Abe goes out of his way to stress that he is visiting the shrine with the determination and resolve that past misdeeds shall not be repeated. PRC mouthpiece states the opposite of that without a hint of shame whatsoever. Classic communist propaganda.

    China’s ruling Communist Party seeks to bolster its public support by tapping into deep-seated resentment of Japan for its brutal invasion of the country in the 1930s.

    That's the relevant bit of this article. Ninety years after the fact. Still resentful. Still carrying those old grudges. Still looking for a chance, any chance, for another kick at the can.

    Well done Mr Abe for visiting the shrine on your own terms. I think I'll follow edojin's idea and make a visit there over the holidays myself. I'll be sure to convey my gratitude for living in a peaceful and prosperous nation, and to Mr Abe and his government for turning the economy around and saving us all from the disastrous path that idiot Hatoyama was trying to lead the country down.

  • 1

    japanesereds

    The usual New Year hypocrisy.

  • 3

    GW

    To those who have no problem with abe's visit, perhaps you might want to ask the Empsseror why he DOESN'T go to yasukuni, on 2nd thought you still wouldn't get it!!

  • 6

    Knox Harrington

    This Abe guy always reminds me of the song 'True colors' by Cindi Lauper. I think it's good he's outing himself and what he really wants. I bet he can't wait to once again declare Japanese supremacy.

    Basically, I think he should be able to visit Yasukuni if he really, really wants, no matter how ridiculous it is believing in these things BUT, he lacks tact aomething awful. I guess in China and Korea, there are still people who suffered at the hands of war-mongering Japan of yore and I guess they have experienced the brutality. I also suspect many of Japan's neighbors never really bought this "denouncing war" BS that Japan has tried to feed the world. After all, the current constitution was more or less forced upon the Japanese. If Abe really wanted good relations with japan's neighboring contries, he would have refrained from this unnecessary polemic visit. He didn't. He is showing his true colors, indeed.

  • 0

    anbinh

    Just ignore the 12 war criminals. 12 in 2,500,000, it is nothing.As long as PM of Japan goes there to pray for peace , it is OK

  • -1

    CrazyJoe

    Sure was a panache to appease his supporters.

  • -6

    Knox Harrington

    Also, as was said in another post: the constitution of Japan proclaims separation of state and religion. When Abe (a statesman, even though it gets more hard to believe by the day) chooses to visit Yasukuni, he goes against the constitution. I guess I shouldn't be surprised in a country where elections are declaredunlawful yet no change occurs.

  • 0

    gogogo

    Abe is an idiot !

  • 9

    gokai_wo_maneku

    Actually, the timing was clever. China is busy celebrating Mao's 120th birthday. I'm sure they would not want to distract from that. There are tiny stories (without pictures) in Chinese media like People's Daily.

  • -3

    kuuku

    if Abe still want to ignore what the US also tries to advise them for their own good, maybe it also better for the US to rethink or reconsider the security pact they have with Japan...Japan's govn't is doing all these but i think they will of course put their trust on the security pacts with the US once something happens...

  • 2

    Mitch Cohen

    @Daniel - it's not just a handful of war criminals. Just over a thousand war criminals are enshrined, of which 14 of them are classified Class A.

  • 7

    Nessie

    Let's not forget that Japan made a promise to China and Korea that Japan's leader would never visit Yasakuni shrine.

    Where did this come from?

  • 1

    lucabrasi

    Abe really is immature. A child. Given the immense opportunities to mend fences with China and Korea which his position as Prime Minister offers, he chooses to thumb his nose at them and indulge in petty provocation.

    I don't want my kids fighting and being killed/maimed/blinded in a war caused by Abe's self-regarding posturing. Detestable worm.

  • -2

    darknuts

    Such childeshness. I'm disappointed in the US and Japan's neighbors. The Us should have stayed out of this as they have in the past. More lip service to China...

  • -1

    Jay Que

    Good for Abe! As the 54 yr old son of a WWII vet -- Dad would have been 96 now had he lived longer -- I have visited Yasukuni shrine more than once and have prayed there. God bless America and Japan. -- Joe Quinn, New York City

  • -4

    Jimizo

    @Lucabrasi Posturing is the right word for this pathetic little man. I wouldn't worry too much. This nonentity is already on the slide in the polls and he'll be out on his backside again before next year is over. The US, Chinese and Koreans know this.

  • 2

    Magnet

    "...his reaffirmation of Japan’s commitment to peace.” So rearming Japan and seeking to expand Japan's military functions beyond self-defense is now considered a reaffirmation of peace? Have pigs learned to fly?

  • -4

    obladi

    Well, it's all pretty much been said above. I guess Abe is playing to his constituency, while trying to minimize the damage by sprinkling some nice words on top. As a non-voting resident, I would prefer that he mend relations with other Asian nations first (and in so doing hopefully give the economy a boost) and save the lip service for the nationalists at home.

  • -10

    YuriOtani

    Yasukuni is a place of honor to Japans war dead. I went there recently and it is a place of peace not war. The dead war criminals are not there being dumped into Tokyo Bay. I asked and yes my dead ancestors are there as well. The Peoples Republic is only looking at a way to lower relations.

  • 0

    lucabrasi

    @Yuri

    "The Peoples' Republic is only looking at a way to lower relations."

    Oh, and look... There's Mr Abe only too happy to oblige them.

  • -4

    YuriOtani

    Why can he not visit his dead ancestors? It is a non government place and it is that freedom pf religion thingy. Peoples Republic of China are godless people that have killed so many more than Japan.

  • -6

    daito_hak

    Yasukuni is a place of honor to Japans war dead.

    Do you realize that what it's about here is a place that is the direct memory of a military regime that was directly responsible for the death of an unbelievable amount of people inside and outside of Japan and was directly responsible for the drop of two atomic bombs on Japan? Do you have even the beginning of a clue? What the hell are you talking about?

    The same questions are for the people irrationally supporting here Abe's visit at Yasukuni.

  • -3

    chucky3176

    Seoul and Beijing have refused to hold formal bilateral summits with Abe, whom they see as hawkish on the issues of territory and history.

    Err...no... South Korea and Japan were to hold a bilateral meeting soon, and other meetings designed to mend fences between the two countries after over a year of ice cold relations. Now all that have been all canceled again. This only proves that Abe was only pretending to want good relations with S.Korea, and asking for bilateral meetings in public, was just a front to make South Korea look like they're the ones who are being unreasonable and who don't want to talk. This was all by design. Just wait few days, by then Japanese people will claim once again why China and Korea won't accept Japan's thousands of apologies and why China and Korea won't forget about what happened decades ago. (well duh, it's Japanese leaders who keep dredging up the past, just look at them now).

  • -1

    Jimizo

    'Peoples Republic of China are godless people that have killed so many more than Japan' The Chinese are honouring that murderous scumbag Mao as we speak. Then again, atrocities are atrocities. This isn't a competition to see who is/was less inhuman. Mao and those animals enshrined in Yasukuni were disgraces to their countries and should be seen as such.

  • -6

    smithinjapan

    YuriOtani: "The Peoples Republic is only looking at a way to lower relations."

    Ummm... yeah, China is looking to lower relations by FORCING Abe to visit Yasukuni?

    Jimizo: "'Peoples Republic of China are godless people that have killed so many more than Japan'"

    Really, because Japan killed a whole lot more people than the white-washed texts will tell you. More than 10 million across Asia and then some. You're right about it not being a competition, though, and the war criminals in Yasukuni just as bad scum as Mao and those who helped him do his bidding.

  • 2

    Kabukilover

    Please note that Abe not only angered South Korea and China (no surprise) but also the US. The US response was diplomatically understated. Read "hopping mad" for "disappointed." It is rare that the US will go this far in criticizing matter that is seemingly a domestic issue (but is not) in one its most important client states.

    Listen up, Abe. The boss is mad at you.

  • -3

    smithinjapan

    KabukiLover: "Listen up, Abe. The boss is mad at you."

    Exactly! Like I said, tomorrow will be 100% damage control, with people insisting he is free to go and worship as an individual while he went in his formal position, and the usual runaround to try and save face. Big mistake, Abe, and one you won't be able to wipe out of the history books or claim everyone has a foggy memory about.

  • -3

    Jimizo

    @Smith I was quoting another poster. Theose are not my words.

  • -3

    Cricky

    Yep there is no problem, aside from honoring those who raped and butched their way through Asia. It's regrettable that those that were at the receiving end just do not understand?

  • -6

    smithinjapan

    Jimizo: "@Smith I was quoting another poster. Theose are not my words."

    Sorry, my friend. Couldn't tell whether you were quoting or not, despite the single quotation marks. My bad. I still agree with you about the whole 'competition' thing, and that wrong is wrong, and bad is bad. Would it were these nations were all competing for the good of their nations and humanity instead of provoking each other.

  • -3

    chucky3176

    Kabukilover, US is only 'hopping mad' because Japan once again undermined and sabotaged US plans to isolate China. They have no stake in this history squabble between Asian countries, all they care about is America's national interests in the Pacific. Right after the war, the US and her Western allies not only failed to bring justice for Chinese and Korean victims against Japanese war crimes, they also allowed the same Japanese government responsible for the invasions and colonizations to remain in power. Of course these same people and their descendants will do everything they can to whitewash their own wrong doings, like how they try to cover up abuses at Fukushima. And these failures by the winning Western allies result in today's mess.

  • -5

    Disillusioned

    Well done Abe! Obviously you are a wise and mature leader, NOT!

  • 0

    Kazuaki Shimazaki

    Quite frankly, I'm with Abe. The Japanese simply should never have let China and Korea make this into an issue. They are the ones that need to stop hooking substantive things with Yasukuni.

  • 10

    hatsoff

    The Japanese nationalists and LDP party supporters will be all excited and praising Abe for this. The Chinese nationalists - party supporters - will be all excited and condemning Abe for this.

    Meanwhile, ordinary Chinese tourists will continue coming to Japan on vacation, shopping in Shinjuku and Marunouchi, and taking photos of each other (unless their government imposes a ban on freedom to travel). The average Chinese citizen in China will continue to work.

    I just hope this doesn't lead to state sponsored violence against Japanese businesses and people in China. The last time that happened Chinese nationalists dragged a (Chinese) driver out of his Toyota and broke his back. Let's leave ordinary citizens out of this.

  • -1

    Argus Tuft

    Imagine if someone told the US that they're leaders can't honour ANY their war veterans on Veterans Day because a handful of them committed some war crimes.

    This is a bit of a strawman don't you think? It's not as if there's no alternative open to Abe. Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery is nearby and would serve the same purpose. Apparently there are also yearly memorial services for war dead held at the Budokan.

    "(Abe)...Claims there is absolutely no dispute in regards to the Senkakus, and is unwilling to even talk about it -- only demand China listen."

    As far as I know there is no dispute over the ownership of the Senkakus. According to law they are Japanese. China's public complaints to the contrary don't make it a dispute

  • 0

    lincolnman

    Abe’s visit, for whatever reason he himself decided to go, has provided right wing extremists in all three countries with exactly what they want;

    For those in Japan, it reinforces their skewed vision of history and gives them hope that Japan finally has a leader who will once again return it to its “glorious” past…….

    For those in Korea and China, it provides them another example of their view of Japan’s slide toward militarism and one more story to ramp up nationalism – which is really only used to deflect internal domestic criticism of their own policy failures and rampant corruption.

    Does it help in any way to build trust, reconciliation, and movement towards a more mature, future-oriented relationship for these three close neighbors, which is in each of their national interest? Absolutely not.

  • -4

    yosun

    YuriOtaniDec. 26, 2013 - Why can he not visit his dead ancestors? It is a non government place and it is that freedom pf religion thingy. Peoples Republic of China are godless people that have killed so many more than Japan.

    Suppose German chancellor(PM) go to some non public place to pray and report his work to dead soldiers' souls including those 3 million german nazi soils and Hitler, do you believe godlove Jews would have no comment about it?

  • 5

    Mitch Cohen

    "I have no intention at all to hurt the feelings of Chinese or South Korean people. Like many prime ministers who have visited Yasukuni after the war, I wish to continue friendly relations with China and South Korea, which are important and benefit national interests," he said.

    This quote by Abe is meme-worthy.

    http://imageshack.com/a/img22/9493/12qn.png

  • -3

    YuriOtani

    Maybe this means Japan should go it alone. Our own deterrent force and the ability to protect us against the Peoples Republic of China. It is a freedom of religion thing. There are no class remains at Yasukuni! Yes I have been there recently! My family members are located there. The war is over for about 70 years, get over it!!

  • 0

    highball7

    Abe clearly has every right to visit this shrine. He is the PM of Japan afterall.

    But what good would his visit to this shrine do for Japan and the Japanese people?

    Especially when Japan is in a tense standoff against China and the Koreas?

    Additionally, Abe "disobeyed" US's "wishes" for him to NOT visit this shrine. How is Abe's steadfastness on this subject matter be constructive in relations with US?

    What's more ludicrous is Abe's own words. He said that and I'm paraphrasing that his intentions are pure and its not political and nothing against China and Koreas.

    Well, here's my beef. Before visiting the shrine, Abe knew that all the aforementioned nations and people will be angry at not just him but Japan and the Japanese if he visited the shrine. He knew this, there is no way around that fact.

    Then he went on to visit the shrine knowing the feelings of others and then came around afterward to say that his intentions were pure.

    Hmmm... That is the biggest lie and hogwash I have ever heard. His action was the visit. His intent was the simple fact that he wanted to visit the shrine no matter what. So he INTENDED to visit the shine despite the feelings of others and knew of the consequences of such action. And he did it anyways. And then he has the audacity to come around and make a conciliatory statement that is just completely disingenuous.

    How can a leader of such a civilized nation behave in this manner? Politicians behaves like this. Leaders do not behave like this. No leader can ignore the big picture and the welfare of his nation and people and throw hot oil into a raging fire such as Abe's action.

    If I was a Japanese citizen, I would be very angry with Abe for his selfishness and ignorance to the regional climate.

    Not a good way to end the year and start anew.

  • 0

    realist

    Abe's decision to go to "worship" at the Yasukuni Shrine of Hate is disgraceful. He may claim that it is to honour all the war dead, but the fact remains that included in that number are people who committed some of the most barbaric crimes against other human beings ever carried out by human beings in the history of the world, in the name of Emperor Hirohito. Small wonder that his visit has provoked such outrage in China and the two Koreas, and also among ex servicemen and women, and their families, across the world.

    Members of the extreme Right Wing LDP, and their lackeys within the Ministry of Education and Science responsible for the attempted whitewashing of Japan's evil past under the evil State Shinto Regime of the 1930s and 40s, either do not have enough brain power to realise that the rest of the world has never forgotten the atrocities, or else they are just plain evil, and are intent in repeating past misdemeanours. This visit does nothing but harm Japan's reputation. Modern Japan is loved, admired and respected these days, but this Shrine of Hate visit by Abe undermines all that has been achieved by the wonderful people of Japan since the 1950s, when democracy was restored under General McArthur.

    Abe has done something which the present Emperor has never done, and will never do. His visit is a backward, not a forward step. It is a step into Japan's murky past, which should have been repented of, but really never has been. Visits to the Shrine of Hate by successive Japanese Prime Ministers in recent times just shows that the leopard cannot change its spots, and in the case of the LDP, the leopard does not want to, because of their extreme Right Wing ideologies. A sad day for Japan's people, and to do it at Christmas is both sinister and insulting to Japanese Christians in particular. The time for "peace on earth, goodwill towards men" has been sullied and blasphemed by Abe this year in Japan. The man is devoid of sensitivity, social graces and social awareness of the extreme hurt he has caused to many, many people, both within and outside of Japan by this visit.

  • 12

    zichi

    There are 1,054 Class-B and Class-C war criminals, and 14 Class-A war criminals. Class-A war criminals are those who conspired to wage war at the highest level, Class-B are those who committed wartime atrocities or crimes against humanity, and Class-C are those who ordered or authorized atrocities, or failed to issue orders to prevent them. The convicted Class-A war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni are Hideki Tojo, Koki Hirota, Kenji Doihara, Osami Nagano, Iwane Matsui, Yosuke Matsuoka, Akira Muto, Shigenori Tougo, Kuniaki Koiso, Hiranuma Kiichiro, Heitaro Kimura, Seishiro Itagaki, Toshio Shiratori, and Yoshijiro Umezu.

    There are the names of 2.6 million war dead with 2.3 million from the WWII and mostly members of the Imperial Forces.

    There's also a war museum which whitewashes Japan's war past.

    The Yasukuni Shrine is a potent symbol for the far right and nationalists.

    It should not be visited by prime ministers while in office.

  • 2

    Serrano

    “The United States hopes that both Japan and its neighbors will find constructive ways to deal with sensitive issues from the past, to improve their relations, and to promote cooperation in advancing our shared goals of regional peace and stability,” the ( embassy ) statement said.

    “We take note of the Prime Minister’s expression of remorse for the past and his reaffirmation of Japan’s commitment to peace.”

    Too bad China and Korea don't take note of Abe's expression of remorse for the past and his reaffirmation of Japan's commitment to peace.

  • 3

    Mitch Cohen

    Too bad China and Korea don't take note of Abe's expression of remorse for the past and his reaffirmation of Japan's commitment to peace.

    @serrano - Too bad you fail to see that Shinzo Abe stands for the exact opposite of what you've written there..

  • 3

    Argus Tuft

    Jeffery Kingston of Temple University wrote an excellent essay on this subject a few months ago.

    Here's a link:

    http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-12/abe-should-end-the-war-over-yasukuni-shrine.html

    @YuriOtani I am a western person and I hope you won't take my comments as an insult but I do also hope that you read Mr Kingston's essay as I think it might clear up the issues of Yasukuni being about freedom of religion.

  • 2

    Strangerland

    The problem here is that Abe is saying one thing, and doing another. It's like slapping someone in the face and saying "I just want to affirm that I don't want to fight with you."

  • -4

    smithinjapan

    Kazuaki: "The Japanese simply should never have let China and Korea make this into an issue."

    Yeah, they should have suppressed their rights to freedom of speech the same way they slaughtered them into submission during colonization, and now have even passed secrecy laws in Japan!

    YuriOtani: "Maybe this means Japan should go it alone. Our own deterrent force and the ability to protect us against the Peoples Republic of China. It is a freedom of religion thing. There are no class remains at Yasukuni! Yes I have been there recently! My family members are located there, so I take the comments of western people as insults!! The war is over for about 70 years, get over it!!"

    Is this the "we are a peaceful people (rolls eyes)" attitude you were talking about?

    Serrano: "Too bad China and Korea don't take note of Abe's expression of remorse for the past and his reaffirmation of Japan's commitment to peace."

    His 'commitment to peace', eh? Is that before or after Yasukuni, his desire to renounce apologies, denial of atrocities, military budget increases, etc? Sounds like he's committed to war, not peace... or is the US just upset for a reason other than the fact that Abe has just increased tensions in the region?

    He's not a leader, save for leading Japan down a very, very bad road.

  • 2

    Serrano

    Me: "Too bad China and Korea don't take note of Abe's expression of remorse for the past and his reaffirmation of Japan's commitment to peace.

    Mitch Cohen:"@serrano - Too bad you fail to see that Shinzo Abe stands for the exact opposite of what you've written there.."

    So, you're saying that Abe is not sorry for any of the atrocities committed by Japan, and he's a warmonger.

  • -9

    tinawatanabe

    This is the first time that US has officially criticized the shrine-visit. I'm sure many Japanese don't like this.

  • -5

    Michael Jun Sung Shim

    After all,japan has decided to glorify its past misconduct.Way to go abe! I don't think japan really wants peace with Korea or any other country.japan is too PROUD of itself & they are so narcissistic.I must warn japan that if you keep doing like this then you will make more enemies with everyone! Stop just saying peace only in lip service.Show some actions that japan cares for the peace of mankind! I think the U.S. spoiled japan way too much.Time to spank japan's butts!

  • 3

    jj1067

    Japan is a free country, Yasukuni Shrine is a shrine, a religious institute. Abe has all rights to do whatever the religious action according to his own religious belief. No one is entitled to force him to or not to conduct any religious action. I'm sorry if Japan disappointed US for it. But would American president avoid going to a Christian church because it may disturb people of other religion in the middle east for what Christians did during the Crusade invasion? I think this whole thing look stupid and I thought America was a free country where religious freedom was her backbone.

  • -6

    Michael Jun Sung Shim

    Even before abe's visit to shrine,my feelings to japan was quite positive.However after having seen the shrine visit,japan disappointed me quite badly! So visiting shrine is only isolating japan and if that's what japan wants,abe can visit the shrine everyday until he dies!

  • 1

    randomman

    The number of emotional bigoted posts explodes when it comes to this Yasukuni debacle. The hatred from differences in race, nationality, religion and culture hasn't changed. A certainty, global conflict is here to stay...

  • 3

    555Book

    Many years ago I watched a WW2 documentary produced by Hong Kong's i-feng TV, and in the program there was a group of WW2 Japanese veteran soldiers who cried uncontrollably for forgiveness in front of the decendants of Chinese war victims. My grandfather was executed by the Japanese too during the war and if I were to visit Japan one day, I may visit the Yasukuni Shrine too, I believe some souls there may want my forgiveness in order for them to get deliverance from their mistakes in the past, I understand what it is like to live so long with guilt. Let us forgive and forget.

  • -1

    Lawrence Wilson

    It's not like every Japanese soldier was a war criminal. Many good men (and women) were lost on all sides. I see nothing wrong with Abe's visit.

  • 7

    Tohka

    I highly doubt most people in Japan approve of this. Please note I am not saying that it's not his right to go visit - it is. However, it's not a smart move for someone in his position.

    Generalizing all Japanese into Abe's mold makes you look rather ignorant and little more than a bigoted failure.

  • -2

    OssanAmerica

    tinawatanabeDec. 26, 2013 - 09:59PM JST This is the first time that US has officially criticized the shrine-visit. I'm sure many Japanese don't like this.

    The U.S. criticism of Abe's visit is based solely on the view that the visit will aggravate China and SKorea. The U.S. does not share the view that Yasukuni or the PM's visit represents "insincerity over WWII apologies" or any lack of desire for peace, or "lack of remorse" or any of the other usual Chinese/SKorea WWII complaints. That it will aggravate China is beyond reproach, their entire policy is based on anti-Japan sentiments and arguments and the US is not foolish enough to think anything Japan says or does, or doesn't say or do, will change that. The US statement of "disappointment" is part of the current State Dept faction tasked with stopping the SKorean shift towards supporting China. A rather foolish attempt in my view that loses as much vis-à-vis China as it may gain vis-a-vis SKorea, and will not accomplish our goals.

  • -1

    jj1067

    yeah South Korea... anti Japan sentiment is their religion. I rather respect that;)

  • -5

    chucky3176

    OssanAmerica, the Yasukuni shrine claims that Japan fought in WWII for the good of all Asians including Chinese and Koreans, against the encroaching European and American white men. Do you really agree with this blatant historical distortion? I ask the same to all those people here who defend this shrine as being same as Arlington.

  • -1

    kuuku

    This is the first time that US has officially criticized the shrine-visit. I'm sure many Japanese don't like this.

    well then, encourage Abe and his Ministers to do it again to wait for the second criticism. perhaps it would be good to c many criticisms, if that is what u mean.

  • 2

    jj1067

    You know why Yasukuni Shrine still exist after WW2? Japan was under US occupation for more than several years after the war, and during that period US GHQ in Tokyo actually considered destroying the shrine and consulted if it would be a right move or not with a religious leader, Vatican. The Vatican answered to GHQ that US should stay away and not touch Yasukuni Shrine as it was a religious institute. As the result here in Japan we enjoy religious freedom. I'm kind of proud of all that as a Japanese Christian, one of very few in Japan. We are talking about religion. Not about politics. Making religious issue political is the first step to destroy religious freedom. I pay respect to religion of my own and of others.

  • -6

    tinawatanabe

    The US is wrong to view that the visit will aggravate China and SKorea. When PMs did not visit the shrine,the relation with China & Skorea got worse. Civilized people like US government interfered in Japan's thought and creed, that's shocking.

  • -2

    Kazuaki Shimazaki

    Yeah, they should have suppressed their rights to freedom of speech the same way they slaughtered them into submission during colonization, and now have even passed secrecy laws in Japan!

    I didn't say that. What I say is that they should take the same tack as China - this is an internal affair and you are interfering with our sovereignty.

    Heck, if they had not buckled from the start, ironically there would almost certainly be far fewer Yasukuni visits.

    His 'commitment to peace', eh? Is that before or after Yasukuni, his desire to renounce apologies, denial of atrocities, military budget increases, etc? Sounds like he's committed to war, not peace... or is the US just upset for a reason other than the fact that Abe has just increased tensions in the region?

    I find it enormously wierd that Westerners like to link historical interpretations to whether there is a commitment to peace. Please explain to me why, if I, for example, sincerely don't believe oh say the Nanking Massacre happened, I am necessarily a warmonger, or think the Nanking Massacre granting it happened is a good idea.

    If anything, countries that acknowledge the Nanking Massacre fully seem far more aggressive than countries that don't. I don't claim a cause but there is a correlation. Maybe we should investigate denying the Nanking Massacre as a method to bring peace :-)

  • 2

    Argus Tuft

    I ask the same to all those people here who defend this shrine as being same as Arlington.

    Good point. The Japanese analog to America's Arlington Cemetery is the Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery and it is located within walking distance of Yasukuni. It doesn't have a revisionist museum, so why not go there instead ?

  • -2

    igloobuyer

    To all those supporting Abe's visit, are you aware Yasukuni is a right-wing establishment that has a museum with extreme reformists ideas and don;t forget the Japanese government made a pledge to it's Asian "friends" that in respect and regret to them they would never allow a Japanese prime minister to visit Yasakune shrine.

  • -4

    chucky3176

    Because that won't pander to the Japanese right who demand that the PM visit Yasukuni, to show up the Chinese and Koreans. If one more person comes on in here and claims that this move is not politically motivated, I will laugh.

    Good point. The Japanese analog to America's Arlington Cemetery is the Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery and it is located within walking distance of Yasukuni. It doesn't have a revisionist museum, so why not go there instead ?

  • 1

    jj1067

    I think this discussion is between those who believe in whatever a religion and who don't. There will be no answer here.

  • -2

    smithinjapan

    jj1067: "We are talking about religion. Not about politics."

    Not really. Either his decision to refrain from going until now, or his decision to go on the day China celebrates Mao (also bad), it's purely political. But if you can show me the books that have his signature without the role of PM, I might be slightly more inclined to agree. I'm guessing he used the company car, and signed as PM. It is 100% political.

    Kazuaki: "I find it enormously wierd that Westerners like to link historical interpretations to whether there is a commitment to peace."

    Ummm.... yeah. No one has ever ever looked at history repeating itself, and then at moves towards repeating it yet again, and made any links. Nah, never, nor should there be, eh? I mean, then when you do it again you can finish and say, "Hey, stop linking this to the past, already!"

    "Please explain to me why, if I, for example, sincerely don't believe oh say the Nanking Massacre happened, I am necessarily a warmonger, or think the Nanking Massacre granting it happened is a good idea."

    Because you are allowing it to happen again, as is clear of your support for what Abe is doing, and denial of how the same kind of thing led to the FACTUAL results that you deny. It's not "Western thinking", since obviously Japan's neighbours feel the same way, but acknowledgment of facts and bafflement over the fact that people here want to conveniently forget Japan's atrocities while praying to the 'victims' of war.

    "If anything, countries that acknowledge the Nanking Massacre fully seem far more aggressive than countries that don't."

    Only ONE country denies it, Kazuaki. Only one. And denying the Nanjing Massacre as a way to bring about peace?? Only to bring about peace of mind to those who deny the guilt of the Imperial Army at the time, same way as ignorance is bliss.

  • 0

    kuuku

    The US is wrong to view that the visit will aggravate China and SKorea. When PMs did not visit the shrine,the relation with China & Skorea got worse. Civilized people like US government interfered in Japan's thought and creed, that's shocking.

    Nope, you are telling us that japans intelligence and political community is very right against three political and intelligence communities who also tend to represent the world. maybe the worldwide opinion poll for all leaders should be conducted to see which one supports which side.

  • 0

    Chenchan

    the Yasukuni shrine claims that Japan fought in WWII for the good of all Asians including Chinese and Koreans, against the encroaching European and American white men.

    You're making blatant distortion and you're ok with that so why Ossan should be bothered?

    If one more person comes on in here and claims that this move is not politically motivated, I will laugh.

    But you don't care when Korean spies who tried to conduct terrism act on Japanese soil are buried on Korean cemantaries for soldiers visited by Korean president? Call that hypocrisy.

  • -4

    smithinjapan

    jj1067: "I think this discussion is between those who believe in whatever a religion and who don't. There will be no answer here."

    Of course there will be no answer, because people are going to demand Japan acknowledge atrocities, and others will deny they occurred, and neither will budge. It has nothing to do with 'Western religion', and everything to do about politics. I admire that you are somewhat objective when it comes to religion and that in your post about 9/11 you said the communities rallied together and included and supported Muslims praying, but let me ask you this: how would you feel if you knew that the prayers the Muslims sent out included prayers for the terrorists who carried out the heinous actions on those days? Did the Christians who prayed include those souls as well? At Yasukuni when a PM or anyone else goes and prays, they are also praying for the souls of people who carried out just as heinous, or worse, crimes or who ordered others (the lesser war criminals) to do so.

  • 1

    Argus Tuft

    @chucky it's sad but true. I mentioned Chidorigafuchi is the officially designated war cemetery and @igloo buyer makes the comment that Yasukuni is run by an organization. That's an important distinction to remember for those defending Abe's visit to Yasukuni as a right or a duty.

    The Imperial family haven't visited Yasukuni since the late 1970s. They are Shintoist. It stands to reason that the Imperial family also honor Japanese war dead. They must have found another Shinto shrine to do that at. There is obviously an alternative to Yasukuni.

    Chidorigafuchi is the place to honor war dead. Yasukuni is the place to honor war dead, score points with Izokukai and stick it to China while you're doing it.

  • 0

    Kazuaki Shimazaki

    Ummm.... yeah. No one has ever ever looked at history repeating itself, and then at moves towards repeating it yet again, and made any links. Nah, never, nor should there be, eh? I mean, then when you do it again you can finish and say, "Hey, stop linking this to the past, already!"

    Yes, history does repeat itself. But you hadn't answered my question at all - which is why historical interpretation is linked to commitment to peace.

    If anything, there is a much stronger theoretical link for a country that takes a historical interpretation that says atom bombing other countries is a good (or at least necessary) idea being a danger to peace. Heck, I can even count the number of wars that country had somehow managed to get itself into over the years to boost my case.

    Frankly, I'll be much more concerned about Abe if he agrees Nanking Massacre happens, even the Chinese casualty count, and says Who Cares. If he sincerely doesn't believe it happened, or believes a far lower body count, that doesn't concern me very much. Maybe the Chinese case just wasn't very convincing to him.

    If anything, in terms of Danger ... it is the Chinese method that's theoretically dangerous - because it creates a sense of Entitlement in Chinese citizens that Japan should pay them something. You see the practical results with the rabid Chinese crowds every time.

    Because you are allowing it to happen again, as is clear of your support for what Abe is doing, and denial of how the same kind of thing led to the FACTUAL results that you deny.

    Now you are just making unfounded accusations.

    It's not "Western thinking", since obviously Japan's neighbours feel the same way

    I didn't call it Western thinking. I called it "enormously wierd that Westerners...", which is not the same thing. I can understand C & K being a little close to the events to see it objectively even though I think their government is playing it up for all it is worth and thus blinding them. I am less able to understand the Westerners who are relatively less involved to feel the same way.

    Only ONE country denies it, Kazuaki. Only one. And denying the Nanjing Massacre as a way to bring about peace?? Only to bring about peace of mind to those who deny the guilt of the Imperial Army at the time, same way as ignorance is bliss.

    I see you have entirely ignored my point that Japan has been a very peaceful country post WWII while doing the whitewash thing that you so hate, while China and the US (and the UK, and France ... heck even ultra-apologetic Germany has been more aggressive) are clearly less so. You do understand you are arguing against the statistics here, are you?

  • 0

    wildwest

    I may not support Abenomics but I support the right to vist war dead. As others have said no one is totalyy clean in war. Shrines should stand as a reminder not to go to war. As for China well they have to say keep up the "Hate Japan" ilusion or the people will if not soone than later turn on the them selves as they have done so before and will do agaib as sure as rain follows sunshine.

  • 0

    overchan

    Hell. My grandfather is honored in that shrine. I guess Abe has some family members there

  • 4

    Argus Tuft

    I support the right to vist war dead.... Shrines should stand as a reminder not to go to war.

    I like your point, but I think the issue that many people have in this instance is that this particular shrine is run by an organization of revisionists.

    There are non-secular and other secular shrines to the war dead in Japan I don't think anyone has a problem with those.

  • -2

    Alex80

    The USA are only taking advantage of Japanese nationalism (that they've always supported) to get closer to China, blaming Japan for everything bad will happen. It's their current political strategy to keep an influence in the Pacific area, letting out one of the competitors (Japan).

  • -1

    igloobuyer

    Kazukai Shimazaki

    I see you have entirely ignored my point that Japan has been a very peaceful country post WWII while doing the whitewash thing that you so hate, while China and the US (and the UK, and France ... heck even ultra-apologetic Germany has been more aggressive) are clearly less so.

    Um, Japan didn't make the choice to be peaceful, they were forced to.

  • -1

    billyhelpher_33

    Just curious, why is everyone so supportive of japan on this? Wht side would you would have been on in WW2?

  • -1

    jj1067

    I'm beginning to understand that religious freedom is not too important in Korea and China and they think it's the same in the rest of the world. Actually it is not. Religious freedom is super important in the world.

  • -2

    Alex80

    The USA are only using Japan, they aren't its real ally. The USA presence in Asia is the first reason why there's not real peace in Asia, but they are only trying to get closer to China, pretending to support Japan, waiting for putting the blame on Japan. China/USA is the real alliance. If the USA were really against nationalism in Japan, people like Abe wouldn't be in politics now. Try to think.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    Kazuaki: "If anything, there is a much stronger theoretical link for a country that takes a historical interpretation that says atom bombing other countries is a good (or at least necessary) idea being a danger to peace. Heck, I can even count the number of wars that country had somehow managed to get itself into over the years to boost my case."

    Here's where I call your bluff, Kazuaki. I'm not American, and if you have read any of my posts regarding the atomic bombings of Japan I consider them to have been completely unnecessary and amongst the most heinous war crimes in history. So what do you have to say to that?

    "Frankly, I'll be much more concerned about Abe if he agrees Nanking Massacre happens"

    So it's okay to acknowledge the past and make links to history if Japan is the victim, but if Japan is the aggressor you are more concerned it be denied. Well done.

    "I didn't call it Western thinking. I called it "enormously wierd that Westerners...", which is not the same thing."

    And yet in your comment you glaringly goof up since it is mostly the Chinese and South Koreans protesting, but claim that posts from people you assume are Westerners (a statement in itself) which mirror the sentiment are 'enormously weird'. Or are you saying that the protests from China and South Korea, etc., are justified?

    "I see you have entirely ignored my point that Japan has been a very peaceful country post WWII while doing the whitewash thing that you so hate..."

    Glad you can admit to the white-washing, at least. But answer me this, as to your previous comment, what nation outside of Japan denies the Rape of Nanjing? (since you said numerous do). And Japan has been far from 'peaceful' in regards to actions with its neighbours. Sure, they have only gone against the constitution in terms of having the SDF, deploying in Iraq, sending ships to safeguard around Somalia, etc., and haven't tried to colonize in the past, but none of the rhetoric and moves of people like Abe are 'peaceful' by any means.

  • -3

    billyhelpher_33

    Seriously, he should apologise. If I were the prime minister in that situation, I would apologise on behalf of what wrongs I did. Thats just me. And just try to bring peace to those peoples hearts. The world should just apologise to everyone. We should all just come hand in hand and rejoice in tears of all the blood shed that has been spilt throughout the ages.

  • 0

    Alex80

    Just curious, why is everyone so supportive of japan on this? Wht side would you would have been on in WW2?

    it's not matter to support Japanese nationalism, probably you aren't able to see the real political strategies of biggest players than Japan behind this kind of actions. Both China and USA are happy if there's nationalism in Japan. The USA always supported the right in Japan, letting free some criminal wars in the first place, so should I be so naive to trust the USA when they say they are disappointed if Abe visits Yasukuni shrine? I'm not a child.

  • 0

    pagoda28

    Tojo is enshrined there as war criminal? why he is criminal? If Japan had won war, he is enshrined as hero?

  • 2

    gelendestrasse

    From the perspective of international politics it was a bad move. Why hand China something else to complain about and react to? Playing to the crowd at home? I'm not sure anybody really cares. At least nobody I know does.

  • -2

    Alex80

    The USA always supported the right in Japan, letting free some criminal wars* in the first place

    war criminals, I meant.

  • -1

    overchan

    Japan view of Yasukuni Shrine is not about worshiping war criminals, the media has done a very bad job. but heres something: Jeffrey Kingston, director of Asian Studies at Temple University Japan, said: "To say that they're going there only to venerate the war dead is disingenuous on their part,"

  • -7

    nigelboy

    What the hell are you talking about? Nobody is saying that those countries don't have any responsibility in the origin of conflicts across the world but that's not the point here anyway.

    That is the point. Not a single foreign civilian killed by the hands of Japanese SDF for over 68 years and counting and let us not forget that this was going on while PM's were visiting Yasukuni shrine on an annual basis up until 1985.

    Paying respects to the war dead is and always should be a domestic issue much like it was prior to 1985. It was a grave mistake by Japanese leaders to cater to the Chinese demands as Nakasone did in 1985.

  • 1

    David Foley

    The problem is that Abe specifically went to the shrine to start problems. The nazis aren't worshipped in a shrine in Germany. Evil is evil no matter what blood runs through the veins. America should have cut the head off the snake after WW2, instead they just took out the fangs and left the black core to recover. Now fascist Japanese gereatrics are gonna try to salvage racial pride and start a war all while feigning victimhood. Abe is trying to provoke China cause he thinks his balls are big. The problem is is that all of his voting backers are crusty old farts and the minority youth population could care less about ww2 and racial pride.

  • -2

    overchan

    David Foley - Pardon me again but, Its a religious issue cannot be categorized that way, you dont understand how Yasukuni Sharine works, There are millions of people there, even my grandfather is there, War criminals are in every tomb even by a photograph, and that wont stop you from going to the cementery. You should know the issue better before making an inflamatory comment.

  • -1

    Saketown

    Oh nothing says "Go ahead Japan, we got your back.." than The U.S. HIGH TAILING AWAY from their only reliable and trustworthy allies (the Japanese) by stating that they are "disappointed" in Prime Minister Abe's long overdue decision to visit Yasukuni Jinja.

    I am starting to wonder who's side Washington is on?

    Look, I know Wall Street is in bed with Communist China and Wall Street just adores Communism, but there are some Nations left in this world that believe in Democracy, Transparency, and Freedom - AND they don't have go to bed with Communist Dogs just to wake up with their Communist Fleas!

    By the way. I have not heard any criticism from The Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore, Burma (Myanmar) and The Solomon Islands. Weren't they also under this "harsh occupation" as so claimed by Communist China and South Korea?

    Hey South Korea, are you ready to become 1 Korea again? Keep siding with the Communist and you'll soon be there. Ms. Park will certainly show you the way.

    Honestly, it doesn't matter what Prime Minister Abe nor any Political Party from the Japanese Government does or does not do - Communist China and soon to be Communist South Korea will dig up dirt and open old wounds just to bring Japan to the Boiling Point in at any attempt to acquire Land, Wealth, and National Defense capabilities away from Japan.

    What's even worse is seeing The U.S. who has a signed Treaty (a promise) with Japan, to actually side step that Treaty and side with the Commies in China!

    The audacity that comes from Washington just disgusts me and I am sure the Japanese do not trust The United States and I do not blame them for feeling that way.

    Did you all know that Japan PAYS The United States 1 Billion Dollars a year to host the U.S. Military? Yea, they are paying us to protect them under SOFA, and now that promise and protection (after all the rapes and assaults by U.S. Military Personnel)seems null and void if Washington continues to side step the US-Japan Treaty in order to appease Wall Street and their bedside mates - The Commies in China.

    Shame on you Washington!

    Good Job Mr. Abe - Your visit was long overdue.

    I will aleays believe Shinzo Abe is doing the right thing for Japan and Japanese Pride!

  • 2

    Alex80

    America should have cut the head off the snake after WW2, instead they just took out the fangs and left the black core to recover.

    Try to guess why they acted like that. Because it was convenient for their anticommunist strategies. Do you think the USA don't know who Abe is? Of course, they know it. So, why are they supporting Japanese rearm, but at the same time they pretend they are "disappointed" if he visists the Yasukuni shrine? Implying they don't know he is a revisionist. Now, try to guess why things in Germany went in a different way. Yeah, Germany wasn't completely occupied only by the Americans.

  • 0

    titaniumdioxide

    Japan needs PM Abe. He is the only key for Japan's future(and the region) security. No peace talks can keep Korea and China from nagging for attention especially China who is trying to gain more influence, power and control over Asia.

  • -2

    Alex80

    @titaniumdioxide: no, Japan needs people like Hatoyama. But the USA will never let Japan shift to the left.

  • 1

    oldman_13

    Abe has every right to do so.

    Japan has every right to honor its war dead, as does any other nation.

    No double standards.

    And why is Chinese government and the anti Japan nationalists crying about? It's thanks to their incessant demonizing of Japan, destruction of Japanese businesses and assaults of Japanese citizens, that many Japanese including politicians have said, enough is enough.

    Hence, the rise in nationalist sentiment in turn by Japanese.

    These hypocrites who have attacked Japan/Japanese the past decades, you reap what you sow.

  • -2

    Alex80

    I am starting to wonder who's side Washington is on?

    Washington supports its own interests. Currently, it has more interest in supporting China. Such a pity the USA can't be out from Asia. I think peace would be possible.

  • -7

    letsberealistic

    nigelboyDEC. 27, 2013 - 01:22AM JST Not a single foreign civilian killed by the hands of Japanese SDF for over 68 years and counting and let us not forget that this was going on while PM's were visiting Yasukuni shrine on an annual basis up until 1985.

    People, please refrain from claiming Japan chose to be peaceful, it was forced upon them by the American occupying administration.

  • -7

    chucky3176

    I'm beginning to understand that religious freedom is not too important in Korea and China and they think it's the same in the rest of the world. Actually it is not. Religious freedom is super important in the world.

    What are you blathering about? How is this even a religious issue? For the record, S.Korea's have far more religious diversity than Japan, so even your misguided point is completely false.

    Japan has never had to fight for democracy. It was hoisted on them by America who failed to dismantle the same system and leadership that were responsible for the Pacific wars and atrocities, like they did against the Nazis in Germany. The result is what you see today. The US cannot just step away and say it's none of their business, they had a direct hand in how Japan is acting today, and why historical issues are still holding back Asia.

  • 2

    nigelboy

    People, please refrain from claiming Japan chose to be peaceful, it was forced upon them by the American occupying administration.

    ???? As quickly as U.S. can implement a pacifist constitution, Japanese people can "choose" to amend it or eliminate it. The same goes for SOFA.

  • 1

    canadianbento

    Good for Abe, why not Honour people who sacrificed their lives so others would benefit! Why is it there is so much yapping by other Nations who have committed Major crimes throughout History! But, continuously, year after year the Japanese get bombarded for their involvement in WW2.

  • 0

    FernandoUchiyama

    US is on the fence.

    US position on this is very controversial but very intelligent.

    Everything indicates that the US, in the long run, will take a neutral position in Japan X China disagreements. It won't be at Japan's nor China's side. It will criticize and support both countries at the same time.

    US has the obligation to help Japan just if there is war between the asian powers. And it is not the case! Currently there is no war.

    See that? Can you see that there will be no war and that US will be on the fence forever?

  • 3

    Chenchan

    Japan has never had to fight for democracy.

    Indeed, Japan didn't have to fight for that. It was a process started by meiji Emperor to change Japan into constitutional monarchy by Meiji restoration in 1868 and Meiji Constitution in 1890.

    I didn't know that Japan was under American influence at the time but chucky, as always, knows better.

    and why historical issues are still holding back Asia.

    It only bothers three Asian countries. China, and both Koreas.

  • -1

    tokyodoumo

    Japan being an island nation was able to luckily buffer itself from neighbors fury after the war and didn't have to face punishment directly from the severely brutalized countries as China and Korea. Hence you can witness many of the insolent behaviors as Yasukuni debacle from some defiant Japanese leaders today. You can say Abe is on a roll these day at home and abroad trying to realize his vision of unwavering Japan as World's Super Power... but soon there will come a day that his belligerent and exacerbating ways will even dishearten the most tolerant and closest allies.

  • -3

    CrisGerSan

    I appologize to YuriOtami-san and other sincere posters who show they appreciate Abe's visit and have visited the shrine themselves. It is simply ridiculous to see people who I suspect are largely westerners and Gaijin who keep repeating the same trite and shallow attacks on Japan past and present, and on Abe and the shrine for honouring the service given in sacrifice and honour by the war dead of Japan. It is the right of any culture to honour their ancestors and anyone who understands Shinto will understand this. As for others respectfully I say that it is none of our business and this is another example of both China's attempt to belittle and bully Japan, and on the part of the US, a fine example of the continuing condescension shown to Japan by the so called honourable respresentatives like the daughter of an ex US president who was appointed to be Ambassador with ZERO real experience in such work, purely as a liberal American grandstanding publicity move..and that she would presume to lecture or even comment on the actions of the leader of the country she is supposed to respectfully be an ambassador to..such is not only rude but simply out of place.

    Abe has every right to go, and any Prime Minster of Japan worth his salt would have gone long ago. Peace to all souls and may we find a path in the future free from such terrible wars.

  • 2

    HonestDictator

    Omg, this crap again. I don't see how visiting a bloody shrine built in the mid-late 1800s should be completely ignored because some countries refuse to get over the dead people that lived over 70+ years ago. Should I be still whining and complaining and holding a grudge against the slave traders and owners and KKK mobs that were raping and lynching afro-americans over 50 years ago? I'm only concerned about the neo-nazi's and white supremacists in the now. The US has absolutely no say in this matter, and in my own opinion Japan has paid back the damage it gave with the dropping of the A-bombs and the effects from the fallout that lasted for generations.

  • 1

    Barbara Trout

    PM Abe thinks that Japan's relations with South Korea and China already hit the very bottom and can not get any lower or worse. He is making a very big gamble.

  • -3

    Asianhometown

    Honoring brave soldiers is different from honoring war criminals responsible for 20million Chinese, Korean, Taiwanese and other Asian innocent lives. And the lives of hundreds of thousand American lives. The shrine also glorifies Japanese military past and tries to justify the invasion of Asia.

    Abe is causing trouble in North Asia. He is trying to build up the military and revise the constitution on a pretense of a Chinese threat. The real threat to peace in North Asia is Japan and not China

  • -1

    OssanAmerica

    chucky3176Dec. 26, 2013 - 10:45PM JST OssanAmerica, the Yasukuni shrine claims that Japan fought in WWII for the good of all Asians including Chinese and >Koreans, against the encroaching European and American white men. Do you really agree with this blatant historical >distortion? I ask the same to all those people here who defend this shrine as being same as Arlington.

    No Chucky that is false. I have been to the Yasukuni Shrine and have looked at every exhibit in the Yushukan and there is nothing written in English or Japanese that states what you say. There is specific mention of European colonization in Asia but the UK is the only country specifically named and it does not go into any further details. I strongly suggest you go there yourself and confirm this before posting about "historical distortions".

  • 1

    Farmboy

    I do enjoy the adoption of parenting language by US diplomats. For a while, we were hearing, "X isn't helpful" every few weeks. Now we've moved on to "X is disappointing." What's next, I wonder? Guilt trips? "Here I thought you boys could act like adults... But no.... " "Don't you know how we worry?"

  • 2

    sensei258

    Why not just stop reacting to the shrine and its visitors? Keeping the story in the press is what the Nationalists want.

  • -2

    sfjp330

    The real message of the war criminals being enshrined at Yakasuni is that no matter what you do, no matter how much suffering you inflict, if you have Japanese blood in your veins you are ok. On the other hand if you are foreigner, no matter how much they have suffered it is not important, you are not Japanese. Considering the suffering inflicted on neighboring Asian countries by Japan is it so hard to call them the 'invasions' that they are rather than 'advances'? If Hiroshima and Nagasaki are crimes then surely Japan's wartime actions are also crimes, why is it so easy for Japanese people to acknowledge A-bomb victims and so hard to acknowledge Asian victims of Japan's wartime aggression? Simple, The A-bomb victims were Japanese and therefore important and the others were foreign and therefore less than human and unimportant. That is the underlying fact that is hard to move beyond that for Japan.

  • 2

    Vast Right-Wing Conspirator

    the Koreans and red China need to get over themselves, and stop having these attacks of faux outrage. No country in this area has clean hands, and whinging about others only makes the whinger look petty and small.

    If I were Abe, I would make a weekly visit to Yasukuni part of my routine. Each time, go to pray for peace and international understanding. It's the only way to take the steam out of the ridiculous protests. I doubt that China and Korea could muster the steam and energy to be so vituperous on a weekly basis. In time, they would just learn to get used to it and mind their own damn business.

  • -1

    MASSWIPE

    "The US has absolutely no say in this matter"

    Well that's totally incorrect, because no way Abe makes this official visit to Yasukuni without the implicit American security guarantee for Japan. Washington's disappointment is understandable.

    And in other news today, German Chancellor Merkel infuriated Russians and disappointed the United States by visiting a shrine in Berlin that honors the 2.5 million Germans who died fighting for their country on the Eastern Front during World War II, including top officials who were involved in the Babi Yar massacre of 1941. Oh, wait...

  • -2

    Asian2013

    Abe has hurt once again the millions of SEAsians who have relatives killed or maimed in the 2WW. I never saw my grandfather as he was taken away and killed for no reason. From today, I will not buy Japanese or even listen to my favorite Japanese songs or sing to my granddaughter "ho taroquay". Enough is enough!

  • -2

    FernandoUchiyama

    Everyone must pay attention to the hidden message sent by the US.

    They think Abe is gaining much power and popularity. With this message they are trying to stop that.

    Abe is probably doing something that the US doesn't like, and I think it is not related to Yasukuni.

  • 0

    hidingout

    Right after the war, the US and her Western allies not only failed to bring justice for Chinese and Korean victims against Japanese war crimes,

    Oh please spare us your propaganda chucky. No nation earth has ever been punished as severely as Japan for its military misdeeds. Your country then went ahead and signed a document normalizing relations with Japan and setting out compensation in 1965.

    That's the equivalent of criminal and civil punishments done and completed. Trials conducted, criminals hanged, documents signed, compensation and apologies accepted. Matter concluded.

    Oh wait .. I forgot that ROK and PRC have no shame whatsoever. They'll just ignore all the historical facts above and send their leaders onto the BBC to say that Japan has never apologized. They will also endlessly beg for more money, and complain when people in Japan continue to observe their normal cultural and religious events.

    Truly sickening.

  • -2

    globalwatcher

    Japan, I am disappointed.

    The bad decision like this has suggested to me that Japanese politicians are not politically savvy in foreign diplomacy. They cannot see forest while they see trees. I would not want anyone like this in my camp. Sorry guys.

  • -1

    YuriOtani

    David chan i is not at all like you write. Japans population is going backwards. in about 100 years the population of Japan will be 40 million. I am a Roman Catholic sort of rare in Japan. Peoples Republic of China and Republic of Korea need to give it a rest. I am sure we could agree to the 1956 agreement with Russia. Get our 2 small islands and become vast friends. The Peoples Republic of China and the Republic of Korea use this as an excuse.

    Smith most Japanese want to live in peace. The Peoples Republic wants to kill all Japanese. Though after that is done who will they make the foe to keep their own population in line? Their disagreement is political only and it it was not the visit they would find something.

    Peace be with you

  • -1

    AKBfan

    Why not "move" the 14 "war criminals" away from Yasukuni to another place where right wing nuts can go to "pay their respects"?? Pretending that there was no brutality in the Japanese adventures across Asia is patently ridiculous. i was watching an episode of "World at War" the other day that was clear about how brutal it was. Even had some nice old Japanese bloke saying how he "admired the comfort women" for coming up to the front lines in Burma and "partying" with the Japanese troops before they went into battle. bizzare!

  • -3

    igloobuyer

    FernandoUchiyamaDEC. 27, 2013 - 09:59AM JST Abe is probably doing something that the US doesn't like, and I think it is not related to Yasukuni.

    Ah, yes, it's called "being an irresponsible and undiplomatic leader"; that's what America is concerned about.

  • -5

    NavyCDR

    How incredibly stupid of Abe.

    He provides the Chinese with leverage over the islands dispute, and China needs little encouragement to play hard ball with Japan. Abe May make it impossible to support Japan in that dispute and others.

  • 3

    Fox Cloud Lelean

    I think that the US, South Korea and China can shut the hell up. There are 2.5 million people interred at Yasukuni. Why does everyone assume he was there to pay respects to the 14 people convicted of war crimes. It is, in all probability, vastly more likely that he was there to pay respects to the 2,499,986 people who aren't war criminals. Oh, but that wouldn't be something that people can make a huge fuss about. Where a person, any person, chooses to pay respects to the dead is no-one else's business. The controversy of the shrine is mostly the result of what China and South Korea place on it. Sure, the attached museum doesn't help, but if it was that alone, it would be nowhere near as controversial. But because China and South Korea repeatedly kick up such a fuss about the shrine, throwing their dummy out the pram every time someone visits, the rest of the worl believes the stigma.

  • -4

    daito_hak

    @Kazuaki Shimazaki

    which is why historical interpretation is linked to commitment to peace.

    "Historical interpretation" makes zero sense, there are no historical interpretations, there are only historical facts. And you will have a hard time proving that what Japan did during WW2 are historical interpretations instead of real, plain facts.

    I see you have entirely ignored my point that Japan has been a very peaceful country post WWII while doing the whitewash thing that you so hate, while China and the US (and the UK, and France ... heck even ultra-apologetic Germany has been more aggressive) are clearly less so. You do understand you are arguing against the statistics here, are you?

    Nobody is saying that those countries don't have any responsibility in the origin of conflicts across the world but that's not the point here anyway. You seem to forget that Japan was responsible for starting a major war in East Asia while being an ally of Nazism. Japan became a "peaceful" country for the sole reason of losing a war they started and by having got out of a military and dictatorial regime by the establishment of a modern constitution. Wouldn't Japan have lost the war, you would be living in a country worse than China.

    And what "ultra-apologetic" is supposed to mean exactly? Are you saying that Germany shouldn't have apologized as it did? Of course it had to and it will never be enough to the population that have suffered the horrific genocide that the Nazism has done. But at least German politicians had the dignity for apologizing on behalf of their country while Japanese politicians are pushing for a disgusting revisionism. Which one are wise and civilized here? Tell me....

  • -2

    David Foley

    Overchan > I think it is you who doesnt know the reality of Yasukuni. It enshrines the souls of millions of Japanese and it would have been only a spiritual matter if Yasukuni wasnt hijacked by izokukai and other political entities. It is no longer a religious issue and you should be angrier than anyone that your grandfathers soul is being forced to rest with some of the most heinous racist people ever. In fact all Japanese should be outraged that the eugenics loving mass murderers of WW2 were mixed in with the brave soldiers they commanded. Abe knows this and his decision was inflammatory and political.

    People seem to ignore that this shrine is very political and represents a Japanese past of racial purity, eugenics and fascism. This is not simply a shrine to honor the war dead. Relatives of Japanese war dead have the most reason to be angry about the horrible museum inside that glorifies Japans historical fascism which resulted in so much death in japan and the surrounding countries. Japan should have done what Germany did after WW2 and made that type of enshrinement illegal. i say make the museum section illegal and purge the enshrined war criminals as a good will gesture towards peace and humanity. Then Yasukuni will become a symbol of peace and people will visit from around the world.

  • 2

    dcog9065

    It's about time that Korea and China graduated from kindergarten. The vast majority of them probably couldn't care less about the visit, but as always with mass media the whingers will always have the loudest voice.

  • -2

    OssanAmerica

    David FoleyDec. 27, 2013 - 12:39PM JST People seem to ignore that this shrine is very political and represents a Japanese past of racial purity, eugenics and >fascism. This is not simply a shrine to honor the war dead. Relatives of Japanese war dead have the most reason to >be angry about the horrible museum inside that glorifies Japans historical fascism which resulted in so much death in >japan and the surrounding countries.

    Please tell me exactly what you saw that "glorified Japan's historical fascism". I have been to the Yushukan specifically expecting something like you describe but did not see any. I read through every exhibit description, English and the Japanese translated by my wife. There was some mention of European colonialism in Asia with Britain being specifically named. And I did see an awful lot of old military hardware, which was expected.

  • -1

    kaimycahl

    I finally agree with Global Watcher if Japan is a nation of peace my question is why would the leader go and stir up the masses? Not a bright idea Abe not good for Japan if you want peace then let it be! If you want to start a war fight it by yourself! For all of those who are pointing fingers at the US for voicing their concern just think about it when was the last time JApan fought in a war. American lives will be committed not Japanese citizens at the front lines they are not battle tested. What Abe did was like my little brother picking a fight knowing that he couldnt handle it but had me as his big brother to fight the battle while he pulled out shame on Abe!

  • -2

    7solace9

    PM Abe's expressed intent is good, yet the balanced statement by the US is also good.

  • 12

    mrkobayashi

    rsgz4g7y2,

    Judged by the reactions of some obviously Japanese comments

    Japanese people cannot construct grammatically correct sentences even if their lives depended on it. Trust me, I've been working here for over a decade. It may come as a shock, but there are a lot of "foreigners" who don't always bash Japan. As for your guess, you're quite wrong.

    Taken from CH3CHO :

    All the major newspaper issued editorials on the Yasukuni visit.

    Yomiuri: Against

    Asahi: Against

    Mainichi: Against

    Sankei: For

    Nikkei: Against

  • -5

    CrisGerSan

    I am frankly appalled at the fuss over what is a private and purely Japanese matter. Why in heavens name do China, South Korea and now the Us feel they have the right to say ANYTHING at all about what is done for national respect of ancestors, a deeply important part of Shinto? /And where do any poster at all here have the right to criticize any of this at all? none i my humble view and I am not going to honour this silly debate with any more attention . It is clear who here understands the truth of the Shrine and the visit, and who has an axe to grind against Japan. I have no time to waste trying to convince anyone has hates Japan so much that they twist reality and truth into falsehood, and I am glad that Abe and the Japanese as a whole are showing such restraint and dignity in the face of ongong Chinese beligerency and American paternalism. There is no point to trying convince a nation or a person who is so ignarant of current truths that they have to keep dragging in events of 70 years ago to try to justify preducic4e and bias. Enjoy your empty clamor but I for one have had enough and appologize to Abe and to any sincere Japanese persons here for the rude and unkind nature of much of this dialogue. It is just sad. Japan is much better than many of you seem to want to see. Your loss.

  • 1

    Farmboy

    I think that the US, South Korea and China can shut the hell up. There are 2.5 million people interred at Yasukuni.

    Nobody is interred at Yasukuni.

  • 1

    Kabukilover

    Whatever Yasukuni stands for, the U.S. is first and foremost pragmatic. Abe ticked off South Korea and China (no surprise) and that is no goof for America geopolitical or business interests. After this Yasukuni visit Abe has certified himself as a loose canon in U.S. eyes. Quiet American pressure may remove Abe from power.

  • -3

    letsberealistic

    OssanAmericaDEC. 27, 2013 - 01:07PM JST Please tell me exactly what you saw that "glorified Japan's historical fascism". I have been to the Yushukan specifically expecting something like you describe but did not see any. I read through every exhibit description, English and the Japanese translated by my wife. There was some mention of European colonialism in Asia with Britain being specifically named. And I did see an awful lot of old military hardware, which was expected.

    You may have been looking at the display with rose-colored glasses. Did you not see that a documentary-style video shows to museum visitors portrays Japan's conquest of East Asia during the pre-World War II period as an effort to save the region from the imperial advances of the colonial Western powers called the "Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere". Displays portray Japan as a victim of foreign influence, especially Western undermining of trade. The museum fails to portray any atrocities committed by the Japanese Imperial Army. On the invasion of Nanking, the museum omits any mention of the massacre and states that "General Iwane Matsui issued orders to observe military rules to the letter. The Japanese established a safety zone for Chinese civilians and made a special effort to protect historical and cultural sites. Inside the city, residents were once again able to live their lives in peace."

    http://tinyurl.com/qg7vhf4

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-25518137

  • -3

    OssanAmerica

    letsberealisticDec. 27, 2013 - 11:12PM JST You may have been looking at the display with rose-colored glasses.

    Nope, I was looking specifically for what you describe. In other words, glorification of war, a denial that the war was one of Japanese aggression, false statements as regards western colonial powers. Didn't see any. Put bluntly, I didn't see anything worth getting bent out of shape for.

  • -6

    igloobuyer

    OssanAmericaDEC. 28, 2013 - 12:03AM JST letsberealisticDec. 27, 2013 - 11:12PM JST You may have been looking at the display with rose-colored glasses. Nope, I was looking specifically for what you describe. In other words, glorification of war, a denial that the war was one of Japanese aggression, false statements as regards western colonial powers. Didn't see any. Put bluntly, I didn't see anything worth getting bent out of shape for.

    Incredible, so despite the fact the museum and shrine is organised by a know right-wing reformist group the displays depict Japan's wartime atrocities in a balanced and internationally-accepted perspective including the mass killings and systematic torture of thousands of men, women and children throughout the Asian region (decapitation, buried alive, burnt alive, starved to death, worked to death etc.), the sexual enslavement of very young Asian women and the capture, human experimentation and the torture and execution of thousands of American, British, Canadian and Australian POW's.

    Impressive, I'll just have to go and see this for myself then.

  • -2

    OssanAmerica

    igloobuyerDec. 28, 2013 - 12:40AM JST Incredible, so despite the fact the museum and shrine is organised by a know right-wing reformist group the displays >depict Japan's wartime atrocities in a balanced and internationally-accepted perspective including the mass killings >and systematic torture of thousands of men, women and children throughout the Asian region (decapitation, buried >alive, burnt alive, starved to death, worked to death etc.), the sexual enslavement of very young Asian women and the >capture, human experimentation and the torture and execution of thousands of American, British, Canadian and >Australian POW's.

    Impressive, I'll just have to go and see this for myself then.

    What??!! You could say all that and you haven't even seen it for yourself yet??

  • -5

    OssanAmerica

    letsberealisticDec. 28, 2013 - 12:59AM JST OssanAmerica "What??!! You could say all that and you haven't even seen it for yourself yet?? So to you Ossan, posting comments on this forum is just a game?

    No to me it's not a game, I actually made the effort to go see it for myself. I find people who go on and on about the evils of a place that they've never seen themselves to be playing a game. Wouldn't you agree?

  • -1

    splksgt96

    atta boy! Finally, a PM does what he thinks !

  • -4

    igloobuyer

    OssanAmericaDEC. 28, 2013 - 01:30AM JST No to me it's not a game, I actually made the effort to go see it for myself. I find people who go on and on about the evils of a place that they've never seen themselves to be playing a game. Wouldn't you agree?

    Sure, I'm just saying what other people have NOT seen at the museum. Did you see displays describing/illustrating what I listed?

    "mass killings and systematic torture of thousands of men, women and children throughout the Asian region (decapitation, buried alive, burnt alive, starved to death, worked to death etc.), the sexual enslavement of very young Asian women and the capture, human experimentation and the torture and execution of thousands of American, British, Canadian and Australian POW's"

  • -1

    nigelboy

    Sure, I'm just saying what other people have NOT seen at the museum. Did you see displays describing/illustrating what I listed?

    It's a war museum. It's a last place on earth in any parts of the world that I'm going to get a "balance". Why is this double standard expected only from Japan?

  • -2

    OssanAmerica

    OssanAmericaDEC. 28, 2013 - 01:30AM JST No to me it's not a game, I actually made the effort to go see it for >myself. I find people who go on and on about the evils of a place that they've never seen themselves to be playing a >game. Wouldn't you agree?

    Sure, I'm just saying what other people have NOT seen at the museum. Did you see displays describing/illustrating >what I listed?

    What military museum in what county has displays dedicated to "massacres and atrocities" charged to their own military, regardless of whether the charges are accurate or otherwise?

  • -1

    FizzBit

    As much as I disagree about his economic "dream", he IS challenging the culture. I mean, that's what Hitler did right? And Moe.(Howard).ah..I mean Mao........and every other psychopathic leader. It will all depend on the zombies living in the cities to make the final move. That's where the #'s are. No food? Imagine that?!

  • -1

    ka_chan

    I agree with the NY TImes editorial

    Japan’s military adventures are only possible with American support; the United States needs to make it clear that Mr. Abe’s agenda is not in the region’s interest. Surely what is needed in Asia is trust among states, and his actions undermine that trust.

  • 1

    suhiro3333

    China shouldn't be complaining about what PM Abe did, remember China sided with North Korea in the Korean War. China killed more UN and American troops when they enter the war. 7,000 plus American troops are still MIA,

  • -1

    CraigHicks

    The content of the US statement is perfect in both content and diplomacy. The US is a very good friend to Japan which is proved even more by pointing out this mistake. A bad friend would be one who used Japan as a foil to instigate regional conflict.

  • -4

    igloobuyer

    nigelboyDEC. 28, 2013 - 02:06AM JST Sure, I'm just saying what other people have NOT seen at the museum. Did you see displays describing/illustrating what I listed? It's a war museum. It's a last place on earth in any parts of the world that I'm going to get a "balance". Why is this double standard expected only from Japan?

    Right, so a German museum about Germany's role in WWII without any reference to the holocaust would be fine with you then?

  • 0

    Fox Cloud Lelean

    Nobody is interred at Yasukuni.

    Sorry, I meant to say enshrined (This is the term used in the Yasukuni Shrine Q&A article). Posting at ~3am is never a good idea.

  • -1

    Gaijin Desi

    huh America.. Its better for Japan to build their own Military power and make them independent of any one. US is not a reliable partner and they proved it time to time.

  • 0

    LH10

    very disappointed with old geezers in japan government. I seriously hope to see someone in gov to REALLY apologize and take down that shrine that honor those criminals. do you see Germany honoring Hitler? they honor the victims. japan? no lol they do the opposite. disaFREAKENpointing!

  • 0

    Farmboy

    Sorry, I meant to say enshrined (This is the term used in the Yasukuni Shrine Q&A article). Posting at ~3am is never a good idea.

    No problem. Some people are confused about this, though, so I thought I should say something. Oddly, some people are enshrined at Yasukuni against their will. I do like the inclusivity of the Shinto idea, in that even former enemies' spirits might be welcome, but if I were a spirit, I would rather rather make my own choice about my living, or nonliving, accommodations.

  • 3

    zichi

    The bones and ashes of the war time imperialist prime minister, Hideki Tōjō are interned at the shrine. He was hanged in Dec. 1948 for Class A war crimes.

    His ashes are divided between Yasukuni Shrine and Zōshigaya Cemetery in Toshima ward, Tokyo. Cremation in his country is at lower temperatures to preserve the bones and the important ones placed in an urn with some of the ashes.

  • 2

    Scott Ryan

    China get that f d out your mouth. Ok its wrong, but back then they were half brain washed. As far as they new America was out for them "the troops only". There was a reason why they did sulcide missions. Not because they were like terrorist and hatted america in pure, but because they all got told america was trying to kill them. How many U.S troops killed Iraq men that did nothing but say get fu&ked when they knocked on there door, after there men got ambushed???? Back in the day how many times did America / UK / AU test nuclear bombs on there own troops??? So how about we charge all the U.S / AU / UK scientist, that let them troops go to there deaths knowing??. There know different from a peace of S&&& N A Z l killing people in camps "for say". They new them test would make there teeth & hair fallout "and make them die a terrible death". Why not change the scientist and people in charge??? OOO ITS DIFFERENT????? Yeah life is a b, and yes we die. THE PAST IS THE PAST ITS TIME TO MOVE FORWARD. If we cant move forward we cant never move on. If we cant learn for the past we should not get another chance to move on. ^That means ww3 or a massive war funding and giving a sick bunch of people the worlds second biggest market, to be number 1. That means how f***ing dumb are we?? We have given china a full market when they said they would not build up or start any trouble. We have given them trillions of dollars "but still" we are there enemy??? Ok i want to kill some c, but give him nuclear bombs and weapons to find me & take me out. ^So yeah china is building up to defend them self's because of us?. But if it was not for us, they would have nothing. Even a junkie would know the out come here. Just think about that. They hate us, hack us. But yet we have given a evil country the 2nd 2 be worlds biggest market, watched them build up, and have not done 1 thing. Yep we are out for them "or everything is going to be ok". So wake the up, cut them off "growth", Invest in India to mop up the % of growth lost, why sinking there battleship because they 100% want to sink yours, even after you have made then and given them mass trillions of income.

  • 2

    trinklets2

    As other posters say, why other countries are impelling Japan on what to do and not to do? Very disturbing indeed! To think that some of them are living the good life in the very country they despised. Some fake Chinese nikkeis using Japanese aliases in workplaces aside from their Chinese name just to pass off as real nikkeis and enjoy better job accomodation while despising the very country that's feeding them well. I applaud PM Abe's visit. Surely he just avoided the throng of visitors. We simply can't take it from any Japanese. In this side of the planet, they're heroes who offered their lives in that wanton war. For the Chinese, Koreans et al, they're criminals. Indeed, they are heroes and it is just fitting to give thanks to people who have offered their lives for the fatherland. I even considered it as a sign of humility. Ditto for PM Abe!

  • -3

    letsberealistic

    trinklets2DEC. 28, 2013 - 05:57PM JST As other posters say, why other countries are impelling Japan on what to do and not to do? Very disturbing indeed! To think that some of them are living the good life in the very country they despised. Some fake Chinese nikkeis using Japanese aliases in workplaces aside from their Chinese name just to pass off as real nikkeis and enjoy better job accomodation while despising the very country that's feeding them well. I applaud PM Abe's visit. Surely he just avoided the throng of visitors. We simply can't take it from any Japanese. In this side of the planet, they're heroes who offered their lives in that wanton war. For the Chinese, Koreans et al, they're criminals. Indeed, they are heroes and it is just fitting to give thanks to people who have offered their lives for the fatherland. I even considered it as a sign of humility. Ditto for PM Abe!

    Your view is very similar to that of the Uyoku's, so it is interesting to hear such extreme right perspective, but I doubt even the most conservative Japan Today posters will go as far as you have here.

  • -1

    Hansol Park

    Well, I don't represent South Korea, but I just wanted add my view as a person from the country.

    CGB SpenderDEC. 26, 2013 - 04:27PM JST Ironically,the US would do the same if it where in this situation. South Korea: honoring people who have died is never anachronistic behavior. Unless you're a bunch of low-life's without any conscience.

    There's misunderstanding here. I don't think that the Korea interviewee meant that 'honouring people who have died is anachronistic behaviour'. He would have meant that 'honouring war criminals' is such thing. We're also humans, and we do know that losing someone is sad thing. For example, many (actually all people around me) Koreans grieved when the Great Earthquake Japan happened, and the South Korean government was the first foreign gov that sent a rescue team. There were many donations and campaigns to support Japan at that time. It's definitely NOT that we reject general wishes for the Japanese people who died during WW2.

    I'd like to emphasise that, in South Korea and China, there are a large number of living people who have or had family members that died, injured, raped or disabled by the war atrocity. The scar is still fresh in the society, and thus it is still a sensitive issue. Although the two countries are not against general prayers for the dead in Japan, prayers for war criminals still make victims' families lament.

    My question is, why is it extremely difficult to separate treatment to 1) war criminals who planned, ordered and oversaw the atrocity of WW2; and 2) all others who lost their lives by war that should never be repeated in the future? The problem is not the visit itself, it's rather the attitude towards war criminals who should not be treated the same as other war victims. I just don't get it. Why does the PM let these two groups of people to be enshrined in the same temple, and turn a blind eye to civilian victims who have been a ‘dead human shield for war criminals’ under criticism from other East Asian countries?

    I hope the PM makes at least a bit of efforts to think these two groups separate: 1) those war criminals who should never be honoured, and 2) those civilians who deserve to rest in peace without chronic political shows. The separation of war criminals and other souls: even this one gesture can bring so much positive influence for the transitional justice and reconciliation in the East Asia. I'd assume that this wouldn't be an easy decision in Japan, but don't we ALL need to make efforts to bring peace in this region?

    I heard that many African-American cried with joy when Pr. Obama was elected for the first time. In our life, political events often symbolise 'an actual change' in history. I guess I and many other people in this region are waiting for such event in the future. Letting war criminals to be enshrined with other war deads is definitely not the event, though.

  • -7

    OssanAmerica

    zichiDec. 28, 2013 - 02:59PM JST The bones and ashes of the war time imperialist prime minister, Hideki Tōjō are interned at the shrine. He was hanged >in Dec. 1948 for Class A war crimes. His ashes are divided between Yasukuni Shrine and Zōshigaya Cemetery in Toshima ward, Tokyo. Cremation in his >country is at lower temperatures to preserve the bones and the important ones placed in an urn with some of the >ashes.

    He was also shot by a Japanese civilian for bringing war and suffering on his country.

  • 2

    zichi

    @OssanAmerica

    He was also shot by a Japanese civilian for bringing war and suffering on his country.

    and your point???

  • -4

    OssanAmerica

    zichiDec. 28, 2013 - 11:21PM JST @OssanAmerica He was also shot by a Japanese civilian for bringing war and suffering on his country. and your point???

    The point is that by giving information that is not whole you can create an impression which may not be accurate.

  • 4

    zichi

    @OssanAmerica

    The point is that by giving information that is not whole you can create an impression which may not be accurate.

    I made my comment about the ashes and bones of the war time imperialist prime minister, Hideki Tōjō being at the Yasukuni shrine because another had commented that no one is buried or interred at the shrine which isn't accurate.

    giving information that is not whole Making a comment is what it is, a comment and will never contain all aspects of any post.

    Still don't get the point of your comment about him being shot and anyway, I think you must be wrong and talking about his failed suicide attempt when he tried to shoot himself in the heart while American military were outside his Tokyo home serving his arrest warrant for war crimes.

    Tojo, man they called Kamison (the Razor) is blamed for murder of millions, but failed to end his own life when the time was nigh.

  • 3

    Seiharinokaze

    I think the US is disappointed that Abe might have a view that if attacking an island in the Pacific Ocean is a crime against peace, taking the island from Kamehameha or dividing the Ottoman empire into trust territories is what? Silly jokes aside, if the US is really disappointed with Abe for his visit to the shrine as it will raise the tension in the region, the US might as well urge China to go to the ICJ to settle the territorial dispute for good and all. Japan will comply with the judgement handed down in any way there. That will pluck the main thorn between the two countries and reduce tensions greatly. Ditto for South Korea over the islets. Criticizing Abe's pilgrimage aloud (though no need to approve of it) while the territorial dispute (a very nationalistic issue) being unsettled doesn't practically change anything, or rather add fuel to the flames of what has already been sour enough even during the several years that the premier refrained from visiting the shrine.

  • -1

    OssanAmerica

    My mistake, you are correct. There was no successful assassination attempt. I retract my post.

  • -2

    nigelboy

    His ashes are divided between Yasukuni Shrine and Zōshigaya Cemetery in Toshima ward, Tokyo. Cremation in his country is at lower temperatures to preserve the bones and the important ones placed in an urn with some of the ashes.

    Any source for this?

  • -1

    nigelboy

    Right, so a German museum about Germany's role in WWII without any reference to the holocaust would be fine with you then?

    Yeah. There are many. What is your point? It's a War Museum.

  • 1

    bruinfan

    The victors have a big influence in writing history. That having been said, people from countries outside of Japan (not just those of the Allies) call a spade a spade and detest this guy. Yes,Tojo was an evil man. Not good if anyone is worshiping him.

  • 3

    zichi

    The imperialist war time prime minister Hideki Tojo and 13 other leaders convicted as Class A war criminals by the Allied tribunal were secretly elevated to the status of gods by the shrine in a solemn Shinto ceremony in 1978 held at the Yasukuni Shrine. It was kept from the public for more than a year.

    The physical remains of several warriors have come home to Yasukuni as well, among them those of Hideki Tojo, general and wartime prime minister of Japan, who was hanged by the U.S. Army of Occupation in 1948 for war crimes. Thirty years later, the urn containing his ashes was secretly transported to Yasukuni and housed, discreetly, in a part of the building known as the inner sanctum. "By this act of burial," the Tokyo Baedeker says, "Tojo has acquired the status of hotoke, beings who are godlike and deserving of reverence." http://www.geraldinesherman.com/WarHeroes.html

    The Yasukuni War Museum glories Japan's war past and uses the victim card. An international judge at the Tokyo War Crimes Trial, an Indian Justice Radhabinod Pal, stated at the time, of the war criminals should be found not guilty. In his honor, there's a memorial for Judge Pal at the Yasukuni shrine. Justice Radhabinod Pal, the only one out of 11 Allied justices who handed down a not guilty verdict. A verdict which the current PM Abe agrees with, because in his first term of office, in 2007, on a trip to India, paid tribute to him in a speech to the Indian Parliament in New Delhi and then traveled to Calcutta to meet the judge’s 81-year-old son. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/31/world/asia/31memo.html?_r=0

    If prime ministers and ministers wish to honor the war dead while they are in office, they can do so by visiting the Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery.

    Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery was built 1959 to house the remains of unidentified Japanese who died overseas during World War II. The Tokyo memorial, maintained by the environment ministry, honors 358,260 dead, mainly soldiers, whose remains have been returned to Japan, but also some civilians who died overseas. The prime minister customarily lays a wreath at the cemetery ahead of the formal Japanese service of remembrance held at a large hall in Tokyo.

    On PM Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine he called the visit a pledge to peace, but it was more about him showing his nationalist tendencies, which has done since this second election to office.

  • 0

    nigelboy

    The physical remains of several warriors have come home to Yasukuni as well, among them those of Hideki Tojo, general and wartime prime minister of Japan, who was hanged by the U.S. Army of Occupation in 1948 for war crimes. Thirty years later, the urn containing his ashes was secretly transported to Yasukuni and housed, discreetly, in a part of the building known as the inner sanctum. "By this act of burial," the Tokyo Baedeker says, "Tojo has acquired the status of hotoke, beings who are godlike and deserving of reverence." http://www.geraldinesherman.com/WarHeroes.html

    Lol. Just as I thought. Sorry to "Geraldine Sherman" but the ashes of the executed were never handed to Yasukuni for the commingled ashes, were retrieved by one of the lawyers and is transferred here.

    http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/殉国七士廟

    The term "hotoke" is a dead giveaway

    Justice Radhabinod Pal, the only one out of 11 Allied justices who handed down a not guilty verdict.

    False by a large margin.

    If prime ministers and ministers wish to honor the war dead while they are in office, they can do so by visiting the Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery.

    They do. Most all of the time. But what about the 'identified soldiers"?

  • -1

    JanesBlonde

    History has clearly shown us "appeasement" does not work. China does not actually care about whether or not Abe visits the Shrine .... in fact it is much easier for them when he does. It just gives them propaganda opportunities. Trying to "appease" The Chinese Communist Party (A self-centred, corrupt, gang focussed on retaining power and the rewards that come with it) is a complete waste of time. Their story line and reasoning changes when it suits them.

    The only way for Japan, The Philippines, Vietnam, India, and main other countries in the region to "make China happy" is to capitulate to their endless outrageous demands. We all know China will complain and protest at basically every opportunity, they have a whole ministry set up for this sole reason and because of Japans actions 90 years ago, Japan is an easy target.

    But one must remember that for the last 69 years Japan has been a model world citizen. So despite all the propaganda from China and South Korea ..... Japans actions have spoken for themselves i.e. disaster relief, international aid, exchange programs, scientific research, medical developments etc. Clearly the shrine visit and the past ones have been an internal, in country issue, the have in NO WAY affected any other country. The same cannot be said for Chinas actions over the last 69 years, both internally in China and externally in countries like Tibet.

    In short: Shrine visits for China = propaganda opportunities Shrine visits for South Korea = opportunities to vent their internal anger and hatred towards Japan (Korea have some real issues there)

  • 0

    zichi

    Hideki Tojo ashes,

    Tojo's ashes were divided between three locations; Yasukuni Shrine, Zoshigaya Cemetery,and Hazu, Aichi. http://thesoulofjapan.blogspot.jp/2009/07/coffee-with-hideki-tojos-grave-keeper.html

    Tōjō's commemorating tomb is located in a shrine in Hazu, Aichi (now Nishio, Aichi), and he is one of those enshrined at the controversial Yasukuni Shrine. His ashes are divided between Yasukuni Shrine and Zōshigaya Cemetery in Toshima ward, Tokyo. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hideki_Tojo

    Monument of Justice Radha Binod Pal: This newer monument was erected at Yasukuni Shrine in 2005. It honours Indian judge Radha Binod Pal, the lone justice on the International Military Tribunal for the Far East's trials of Japanese war crimes committed during World War II to find all the defendants not guilty.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasukuni_Shrine#Enshrinement_of_war_criminals

    Radhabinod Pal, the only one out of 11 Allied justices who handed down a not guilty verdict for Japan’s top wartime leaders at the post-World War II International Military Tribunal for the Far East, or the Tokyo trials. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/31/world/asia/31memo.html?_r=0 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Military_Tribunal_for_the_Far_East#Judges

  • 1

    MASSWIPE

    "Right, so a German museum about Germany's role in WWII without any reference to the holocaust would be fine with you then?

    Yeah. There are many. What is your point? It's a War Museum."

    There are many? What alternative world do you live in, nigelboy? Virtually every "museum" in Germany about Germany's role in WWII is basically the former grounds of a concentration camp. Look it up yourself.

  • 3

    TheTim

    Interesting that China uses the words "militaristic aggression". It's not like Japan is being beligerant in the South China Sea by claiming that international waters our their own and claiming sovereign territory that belongs to Japan as their own and then using their Navy to be a nuisance to both the US and Japan in those islands. Oh wait, that's exactly what China is doing. I hope Abe is trying to send China a message that Japan's military is not as taboo as it used to be and Japan won't stand for being bullied.

  • 1

    nigelboy

    There are many? What alternative world do you live in, nigelboy? Virtually every "museum" in Germany about Germany's role in WWII is basically the former grounds of a concentration camp. Look it up yourself.

    You must be confusing yourself with a holocaust museum.

    Hideki Tojo ashes,

    Zichi.

    Sorry. It looks like the info from wiki has no citation or sources whatsoever hence the urban legend.

    First and foremost, none of the ashes of the executed were given to the family members for they were commingled. Those were scattered in the Pacific Ocean by the orders MacArthur. The commingled ashes that the lawyer was able to secretly retrieve were sent to the link I sent above.

    Hence, there are no ashes in neither Yasukuni or Zoshigaya Cemetery.

    http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~ku3n-kym/index.html

  • -3

    toshiko

    OK So many comments. Some people wrote as if Yasukuni is a cemetary, some wrote like funeral house. And some people who thought dead bodies were buried. )Do-So). Ash. (Kaso) cremation. Yasukuni do not have such cremation facilities. I don;t think people who wrote about cremation never viewed cremated ash. So I don;t blame them writing their imagination with bones etc. But these people's comment may be more reasonable instead of writing so many million bnodies in Yasukubn's small garden. Just my usual picking. i Years ago, for generations, people who handle dead bodies and funerals were severly discriminated. Shrines and Temples used them with unbelievable discrimination. What kind of people worked for shrine? Kan-nushi. Not politicians or ordinal people. there are old cemetary called Ko-Funs in Japan. Historic sites where historians do research but none-ancient burial sites were not dug. Ceratinly Yasukuni does not have such areas,

    Abe outsmarted Obama on Iran issues. Poor Obama had to copycat Abe's action. But Obama had to accuse Abe to discredit Abe to pretend he is better than Abe in world issues.

  • 0

    Mike45

    "I have been to the Yushukan specifically expecting something like you describe but did not see any. I read through every exhibit description, English and the Japanese translated by my wife."

    the part where "the Japanese translated by my wife" tells us you dont really know about Japan. You only need to walk a few meters in the place to see what its purpose is- to show us that Japan was just and right in WW2. There is a bust of an Indian there who voted against the prosecution of the war criminals. Hmm, ever wonder why?

  • -1

    Olegek

    Abe went to the shrine, which commemorates more than 2.5 million war dead

    Situation looks difficult enough

    in the one hand we have a war crimes and aggression in Far East

    in other - soldiers heroically died for their country ....

    So I personnaly can't blame Mr Abe

  • -1

    OssanAmerica

    Mike45Dec. 30, 2013 - 03:35PM JST "I have been to the Yushukan specifically expecting something like you describe but did not see any. I read through every exhibit description, English and the Japanese translated by my wife."

    the part where "the Japanese translated by my wife" tells us you dont really know about Japan.

    How do you reach this conclusion?

    You only need to walk a few meters in the place to see what its purpose is- to show us that Japan was just and right in >WW2.

    The only thing you see when you walk a few meters into the place is a fighter plane. Which is what I would expect from a museum that has war related exhibits. There is nothing stating who was right or wrong about anything. It's an airplane.

    There is a bust of an Indian there who voted against the prosecution of the war criminals. Hmm, ever wonder why?

    Do you mean Radhabinod Pal? He raised some very good questions on the validity of the victors of a war passing judgement on the losers. In fact a number of US attornies on the prosecution team even raised this same question. There are many all over the world including the US who ewven today question the legal validity if such a process. So what are you saying, that India supported Japan's imperialism?

  • -4

    virgo98

    It is so surprising that those who criticise Yasukuni Shrine do not know there is no body or ash, or ihai (spirit tablet) at the shrine. I'm very much sure that they even do not know anything about Shinto either.

    In a TV program, Chinese who were criticising Yasukuni Shrine as A-class criminals had been enshrined were asked what was A-class war criminal in the first place. Nobody could answer.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBQ_ra2ktM8

    It is not the difference of severity of crimes. Also, A-class and C-class war crimes had not existed before the Tokyo Tribunal. There are so many international law scholars who denounce this as retrospective.

    If you refer to Wikipedia, I recommend confirming the one in Japanese as well, even with the aid of machine translation on the internet. You would surprise to find so many things in the English, Chinese, or Korean version stated without firm evidences.

  • 2

    CraigHicks

    @virgo98

    It's interesting who DOESN'T get enshrined at Yasukuni.

    Inukai Tsuyoshi, a (relatively speaking) moderate Prime Minister assassinated in 1932 by junior Naval officers (*). His crime: trying to reign in the Japanese war in China and negotiate with Chinese to end hostilities.

    Korekiyo Takahashi, a liberal former Prime Minister and Finance Minister at the time he was assassinated during the 1936 Feb 26 incident. His crime: being a civilian opponent of the militarists.

    Both were victims of military violence who died in service to their country, neither are enshrined at Yasukuni because they did not belong to the military, rather, they were killed by the military. On the other hand wartime Prime Minister Hideki Tojo is enshrined because he belonged to the military.

    So when Abe makes visiting Yasukuni Jinja his centerpiece of remembering Japan's sacrifices up to and including World War Two, he is only remembering a very one sided story of Japan's own sacrificial victims of military violence. This is why Yasukuni is very beloved to the ultra-right nationalists; because it only tells their one side of the story.

    Just putting aside for now what Chinese-on-the-street learned from their party line textbooks and censored media, I am more concerned about the respect be shown to all Japanese heroes in fair share.

  • 0

    toshiko

    This USA disappointment of Abe's Yasukuni visit may encourage Abe to suoport yankee Go Home sentiment inear all military bases in Japan,. After all,he can stop paying 2 billion dollar plus cmoiyari budget each year by getting rid of military bases.

  • 0

    CraigHicks

    @toshiko

    And then?

  • 0

    toshiko

    @Craghicks: Wait coming Diet Sessions. They will discuss and pass an agenda which they could not have in December. Beside that, Japan nc. need real estates to create their divisions in Japan so that they will be able to make SouthEast Asian Countriesto become their industry growth quickly. Check new SumitomoMitsui group proposals and Japanese organization pushing legalizations of G......g in Japan. These groups has plans to drop No2. City of G.......g in the world to No3. Organizations in No2 made Macao No1 Now plan to make Japan No 2.

  • -1

    Lemon Fun

    Abe, be a good boy. Listen to your master. Don't let your master disappointed!!!!

  • 1

    Guy Fawkes

    His master's country is about to be bankrupted.

    Right. Thanks for the laugh. Japan is in a worse financial position than its "master."

  • -1

    funny car

    It is so surprising that those who criticise Yasukuni Shrine do not know there is no body or ash, or ihai (spirit tablet) at the shrine. I'm very much sure that they even do not know anything about Shinto either.

    virgo98, yes there are plenty of errors and ignorance among Yasukuni detractors. But believe me, the ones you cited are absolutely nothing compared to the fact that the focal point of state Shinto, the Emperor himself, and the one before him, stopped visiting Yasukuni as soon as the secret of inducting the class A war criminals was revealed.

    The Emperors themselves will not visit Yasukuni! They will not pay respects to war criminals! Yet the Emperor's worship-pers do? Come on! That is either ignorance of the lowest order, or blatant hypocrisy. Nothing compared to the mistake of thinking Yasukuni is a cemetery.

    Yasukuni's detractors can be forgiven for not being able to define "class A war criminal". We all know perfectly well those monsters were responsible for mass murder and rape of civilians besides launching wars of plunder and aggression that got people killed for defending their own homeland. Your whining about little bits of academic information has certainly made an impression about you to us, but perhaps not the impression you were hoping for.

  • 0

    Ermil Andal

    he can do it secretly..why need to broadcast it to the whole world knowing his country has already rising tensions with its neighbors especially on this issue...

  • -3

    tinawatanabe

    Nobody loved, respected, admired America more than Japanese. Probably American didn't know that. It was one-sided love, and he dumped Japanese for more attractive woman.

  • 0

    toshiko

    @funny car: You are right. people who wrote about what is enshrined in Yasukuni never mentiioned one type of souls. There are quite many names of aninals which died because of them used during that horrible war. Horses, Dogs, and you name them, Maybe some of Japanese people visit Yasukuni might be praying for their ancestors house pets who were forced to go to war? Also there are many females souls enshrned. Nurses and Joshi Teishin-tai girls They were on front line I heard). After I found what kind souls were enshrined, I felt many of souls enshriend were victims of Japanese aggression of WW I I.

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