News / Asia

China Outraged as Japanese Lawmakers Visit WWII Shrine

Group of Japanese lawmakers sip sake as they observe a Shinto ritual, Yasukuni Shrine, Tokyo, Oct. 18, 2013.
Group of Japanese lawmakers sip sake as they observe a Shinto ritual, Yasukuni Shrine, Tokyo, Oct. 18, 2013.
Reuters
A Japanese minister and more than 100 other lawmakers visited the Yasukuni Shrine for war dead on Friday, prompting China to accuse Japan of undermining ties and trying to overturn the post-World War Two order.
 
China summoned Tokyo's ambassador in Beijing to express its anger and South Korea also criticized the lawmakers' action.
 
The visits, marking an autumn festival, came a day after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made his third ritual offering to the shrine since returning to office last year, though he did not visit it in person.
 
Abe has stayed away from the shrine in central Tokyo, where war criminals are honored along with other war dead, to avoid further straining ties with China and South Korea, both victims of Japan's militarism before its surrender in 1945.
 
"The Yasukuni Shrine is a symbol and spiritual tool of Japanese militarism," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a news conference in Beijing.
 
"It consecrates monstrous crimes committed against Asia's victimized peoples, including those in China, by 14 Class A war criminals... This is a major matter of principle bearing on the foundation of Sino-Japanese relations."
 
The visits, she said, were another attempt to whitewash Japan's history "and challenge the end result of World War Two, as well as the post-war international order."
 
China's Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin summoned Masato Kitera, Japan's ambassador to China, to "lodge solemn representations" over the visits, said Hua.
 
As well as Japan's war dead, Yasukuni also honors Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal, making it a painful reminder to nations that suffered from Japanese aggression in the 20th century.
 
Internal Affairs Minister Yoshitaka Shindo was the most senior of about 160 lawmakers to visit the shrine to mark the festival, which runs until Sunday. A deputy chief cabinet secretary also went.
 
"I visited the shrine in a private capacity," Shindo said, noting that his grandfather is honored there. "I do not think this should become a diplomatic issue."
 
Sino-Japanese ties have been overshadowed for years by what China says has been Japan's refusal to admit to atrocities committed by Japanese soldiers in China between 1931 and 1945.
 
Territorial disputes
 
Memories of a brutal Japanese occupation also remain strong in South Korea, where the Foreign Ministry repeated its view that Japanese lawmakers should stay away from the shrine.
 
"We urge Japanese politicians to show speech and actions based on humble introspection and reflection of the past that will help build trust with its neighboring countries," the South Korean ministry said in a statement.
 
Japan's deputy chief cabinet secretary Katsunobu Kato said he had also visited the shrine in a private capacity.
 
"I think that it's only natural to pray for the repose of the souls of people who have given their precious lives for the nation," Kato told a news conference.
 
Ties between Tokyo and Beijing have been fraught for months because of a territorial dispute over islets in the East China Sea, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.
 
Japan's relations with South Korea have cooled over a separate territorial dispute.
 
Abe is seen as a hawkish nationalist with a conservative agenda that includes revising the post-war pacifist constitution, strengthening Japan's defense posture and recasting wartime history with a less apologetic tone.
 
He has said he regretted not visiting the shrine when he was prime minister in 2006-2007.

You May Like

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

Physically and culturally close to Western Europe, Lviv feels solidarity with compatriots in country’s east but says they need to decide own future More

West African Women Disproportionately Affected by Ebola

Women's roles in families and the community put them at greater risk for contracting the disease, officials say More

Video NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft Arrives at Mars

Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution craft will measure rates at which gases escape Martian atmosphere into space More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Juan from: China
October 20, 2013 10:44 PM
China and Korea should get over on what happened in WW2. The CCP killed more Chinese and Korean than Japanese so why is china keeps on living in the pass and don't want to even mention tianamen square massacre to it people.


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
October 20, 2013 8:20 PM
It almost has been an annual event that Japanese lawmakers visit Yasukuni and China and SK condemn their visits. Just after the event, it goes as susual as if China and SK forgottened it and there happened nothing. Yesterday it is reported that Chinese government gathered tens of thousands of journalists around the land and orderd them to intensify reports of anti-Japan campaigns. What does this mean? China looks aiming to use this visit for propaganda to get any benefit on the territorial disputes. Asking the responsibility of Japan concerning the WWII seems merely the political strategy of China.


by: Jonathan huang from: Canada
October 19, 2013 8:38 PM
Just to make some less educated ppl to understand it better, imagine what if German government worships Hitler in a church, how would you feel?
You think ppl won't make some NOISE to against it? Because Hitler has died for a long time, so worshiping him will be allowed?
Time to teach Japan a lesson!


by: Zayin Zakar from: Mexico
October 19, 2013 6:58 AM
You know these are war dead. Yes, there are some criminals buried there, as there are in many cemeteries across the world. And though these people are long gone and the world a different place, it would seem forgiveness as per usual is a short coming in most humans on the planet. No one has forgot what they did, not least the Japanese people, or the Germans for that matter. So, I can't help but think those vociferous people raising all the noise are doing it more for propaganda's sake. Since the worlds media is being used as a tool to focus hate, which seems to come so naturally. Let us remember the Japanese have been willing participants in demilitarization and abstaining from nuclear weapons. Whilst China has done the reverse and has been more than amply compensated by Japanese technology in a fashion similar to the US aiding Japan after the war via technology transfer. This is more propaganda and brinkmanship to leverage the territorial battle of the high seas. Anyone who's visited China would realize they're the ones beating the war drums with regards Japan. Japan are starting to dig their heels, as the threats from loony town in N. Korea and China are getting louder.
This is where cultural beliefs clash with politics and people get the wrong signals form assumptions and then you have a powder keg moment. Just a reminder to those of you who believe in a GOD; doesn't say love thy enemy and forgive and pray for the dead?


by: Nick from: Chicago
October 18, 2013 3:13 PM
Look at those animals open worshiping the Shrine, a ghostly symbal for WWII criminals. They do not know how to respect the WWII victims and still continue to encouage the return of the evil imperial army. It is shame to Japanese government and Abe. In fact, Abe being a famous family WWII war criminal will be more favor to go there.

In Response

by: JamesP from: Burbank
October 18, 2013 10:28 PM
I assume you didn't realise that the Yasukuni shrine doesn't only hold the graves of military personal but also other victims of the war, such as civilian and child evacuees from Okinawa as well as POWs. Hope you do not consider visitors of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial animals as well, since many Vietnamese also did not have good memories about that war, especially with the lingering effects of landmines and Agent Orange.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid