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.
    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

    Video How Aleppo Rebels Plan to Withstand Assad's Siege

    Rebels in Aleppo are laying plans to withstand a siege by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in likelihood the regime cuts a final main supply line running west of city

    Scientists Detect Gravitational Waves in Landmark Discovery

    Researchers likened discovery to difference between looking at piece of music on paper and then hearing it in real life

    Prince Ali: FIFA Politics Affected International Fixtures

    Some countries faced unfavorable treatment for not toeing political line inside soccer world body, Jordanian candidate to head FIFA says

    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.
    NATO to Target Migrant Smugglersi
    X
    Jeff Custer
    February 11, 2016 4:35 PM
    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.