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

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer 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.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs