News / Asia

China Objects to Japan Shrine Visit

People bow at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, Aug. 15, 2013.
People bow at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, Aug. 15, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Shannon Van Sant
— Officials in Beijing summoned the Japanese ambassador Thursday after members of Japan’s Cabinet took part in a controversial annual ceremony memorializing Japan’s war dead.

China issued a strong complaint from its Foreign Ministry and summoned Japan’s ambassador Thursday after two Japanese politicians visited a Tokyo shrine to commemorate Japan’s war dead.  China’s Foreign Ministry said the shrine visit “seriously” harms the feelings of the Chinese people and other Asian countries.

In addition to the two Cabinet ministers, about 90 Japanese lawmakers visited the shrine. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe elected not to visit Thursday, but sent an offering through an aid.

“I asked my special aide to make the offering on my behalf with a feeling of gratitude and respect for those who fought and gave their precious lives for their country," he said.

Tokyo, JapanTokyo, Japan
x
Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan
Abe instead participated in a government-sponsored secular ceremony, where he said he hoped Japan reflected on history and did not repeat the misery of war. However, unlike his predecessors, he did not express remorse over Japan’s wartime aggression.

The Yasukuni shrine is dedicated to Japan’s 2.5 million war dead, including convicted war criminals. Japan’s neighbors say the Shinto shrine is a symbol of atrocities committed by Tokyo during World War II, and annual visits by Japanese officials are routinely condemned in China, Korea and Taiwan.

China’s Global Times newspaper stated that in recent years “Tokyo has slipped further to the right under the hawkish Abe administration.” Other media noted recent surveys indicating that more than 90 percent of Japanese and Chinese have an unfavorable view of each other.  

Xiaohe Cheng is a Professor of International Relations at Renmin University. He said many in China expected Japan to change its pacifist constitution and rise again as a military power. 

“The normal statehood from a Chinese perspective carries very important meanings that Japan will revise its peace constitution [sic] and will expand its military and military forces and also try to gain weapons, including aircraft carriers and possibly nuclear weapons,” he said.
           
Thursday’s shrine visit also angered South Korea, where President Park Geun-Hye indicated many Koreans believe Tokyo has not fully apologized or accounted for its wartime behavior.

She said Japan was an important neighbor for peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia. However, the current situation surrounding the issue of past history darkens the future.  President Park said it was difficult to build trust towards the future if one did not have courage to look squarely on the past and attitude to consider pain of the opposite party.

As part of Korea’s own ceremonies marking its anniversary of liberation from Japanese colonial rule, authorities held a traditional Korean martial arts competition on an island claimed by both Japan and South Korea.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: van from: vietnam
August 19, 2013 10:16 AM

Age :43
Sex :Male
Country :Vietnam
E-mail_address :tranlevan71@yahoo.com
Theme :Vietnamese stand side by side with japan
Comment/Opinion :

if over 95% of Japanese people surveyed hate Chinese. I am sure almost 100% Vietnamese people hate Chinese. They always cheat and fraud us.
So don't worry. We always stand by Japan in any circumstance.



by: Samurai from: Japan
August 16, 2013 7:51 AM
No other country has the right to interfere with Japanese people's worshiping and respecting the war dead who fought with giant imperialism countries such as USA, Russia, China, and G. Britain. Chinese and Koreans deliberately condemn Japanese for visiting Yasukuni Shrine just because war criminals are also enshrined there. However, who are the war criminals? What kind of crime did they commit? Crime against humanity? Crime against peace?

No country can punish the other country (especially, a defeated country) under such crime names because it is against the principle of non-retroactivity. Provided retroactivity is allowed, USA, China, and Russia should also be punished for their committing genocides since the births of their countries. What I really want to say is that it is not clever for China and Korea to utilize the past war responsibility to stimulate their nationals' nationalism so as to avert their nationals' complaints to other countries. Chinese and Korea are now struggling to let their nationals recognize their political powers. Don't lead your people to the wrong side!


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
August 16, 2013 2:18 AM
I suppose China and Korea oppose ministers for visit to Yasukuni Shrine because it warships convicted war criminals along with war victims. There is a consistent claim that these war criminals should be excluded from the list of warship in Yasuluni Shrine in Japan, too. But this claim has been rejected due to mainly two reasons. Firast, Yasukuni Shrine is operated privately and religion is strictly separeted from politics in Japan. So, no one urges Yasukuni Shrine to dismiss war criminals as long as its managers want to keep them in the list. Second, relatives to war climinals are yet alive and they strongly oppose the exclusion.

Some experts point out it is not yet reflected on who were responsible for the last war by Japanese themselves eventhough so-called war criminals were convicted on war trials in a sense one-sidedly lead by the allied. We should rethink who were responsible for the last war. Emperor? Military leaders? General Japanese people? What made us get into the war?


by: Ohka from: Japan
August 15, 2013 7:18 PM
At present, majority of Japanese people believe the reasons of such provoking actions by China and Korea as follows;
China…China has the biggest fiscal problems including income differentials domestically, so they must want to decrease such people's anger by anti-Japan hate speech.
Korea…Korea has also serious economic problems, so they want Japanese financial help.
Before Abe administration, criticizing Japan worked magically and effectively to pull out money from Japan. However, no longer now.
S. Korea should change the strategy according to a well-known fable, The Sun and the North Wind.


by: haze from: malaya
August 15, 2013 1:36 PM
Japan politicians purposely visited the shrine yearly in order to made the China and Koreas government/peoples ANGRY !

In Response

by: freedom from: canada
August 15, 2013 6:45 PM
Japan has every right to visit shrine . China should look in the mirror . Japanese are well respected and like not like two face, sneaky chinese .

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid