Skip to comments.Japanese PM Makes Offering to War-linked Shrine
Posted on 10/16/2013 9:31:26 PM PDT by TexGrill
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday morning made an offering to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine during its autumn festival, according to local media.
The offering is amid strained relations between Japan and its neighboring countries, namely China and South Korea, due to territorial disputes and Japan's attitude toward war-related history.
The shrine, which honors Japanese war dead, including 14 class- A war criminals during the World War II, is considered as the symbol of Japan's past militarism.
Repeated visits to the controversial shrine by Japanese cabinet ministers and lawmakers have been a major obstacle for Japan to mend ties with the two countries.
Abe also made offerings during the shrine's spring festival in April and in the anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II on Aug. 15 this year.
According to local reports, Japanese internal affairs minister Yoshitaka Shindo and Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission Keiji Furuya would pay visits to the shrine.
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I think the BBC “World at War” documentary series had a short segment about this Shinto shrine, where a priest offers the traditional prayers for these mens’ souls regardless of what they may have done in life.
I also think that all Japanese PM’s have appeared there at one time or another out of tradition.
Japan needs a war memorial unassociated with Yasukuni Shrine. This is as tiresome as it is predictable.
Abe sent an offering but didn’t visit the shrine himself. He probably learned from his mentor Koizumi that Yasukuni visits are a diplomatic dead end. Neither Kan nor Hatoyama to name two ever had anything to do with it or supported as appropriate any government official who did.
It plays right into China’s hands because it offers them a convenient “soft power” club to beat the Japanese with.
I have been to Yasukuni Shrine many times and there is no question that it, or more specifically the related musuem, does excuse and promote Japanese militarism. That is not even subject to debate because nobody who tours that museum can come to any other conclusion.
There is plenty of places on the grounds of the Imperial Palace where a neutral war memorial can be constructed. The most obvious location is the Budokan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nippon_Budokan which is just across the street from the Shrine, but is not directly affiliated with it. A war memorial constructed there would allow a separation between the church and state aspects of memorials, while keeping them in close enough physical proximity for a person to visit both.
Amongst the G20 member nations, America is about as popular as ham salad in Saudi Arabia thanks to the whole global surveillance business. It seems like it’s in our interest to have the G20 members remembering that there are other people out there to hate besides us. Then again, what’s in “our best interest” is becoming increasingly subjective.