International Humanity

A Blog Started to Record my thoughts on International News events

Yasukuni War Shrine’s Influence in Southeast Asian Politics

Posted by alexfrancis on February 15, 2007

http://asia.news.yahoo.com/070215/afp/070215051844int.html  – This article refers to Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing’s recent visit to Japan and the importance of Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s deciding not to visit the Yasukuni war shrine during his term in office as a major reason for his visiting.

The Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo is dedicated to about 2.5 million people who have died in Japan’s conflicts between 1853 and 1945.  (source: http://edition.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/east/08/13/japan.shrine/)

Because this shrine honors those who have fought and died in Japanese wars, including Kamikaze pilots and those who have fought against countries such as Korea and China, naturally, the Prime Minister of Japan’s visiting of this shrine would be a cause of alarm for those countries whom Japan has fought against in the past.

Former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi had prayed at the Yasukuni war shrine several times during his rule in office.

On one occasion of visiting the war shrine, former Prime Minister Koizumi told reporters, “I don’t go there to repeat the past war and justify the war. We should not forget the sacrifices made by those who fell for the country.”

A Cause for Dispute -Former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi praying at Yasukuni war shrine.

Japan’s relations with China and Korea have been strained for the past five years because of Koizumi’s frequent visits to the Koizumi Shrine. Prime Minister Abe, however, is taking a new approach to the Yasukuni war shrine and has not yet made a visit during his term in office. 

Abe’s new attitude can be seen as one reason for Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing’s arrival in Japan, today, February 15 2007.  He is planning to prepare the scene for Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao’s coming to Japan in this coming April to discuss with Japan the recent North Korean pact that was agreed upon yesterday.

Overall, because of Abe’s insightful decision to not visit the controversial Yasukuni war shrine during his time in office, meetings like this with countries that view the war shrine as a symbol of Japanese aggression may be more likely to take place.

One Response to “Yasukuni War Shrine’s Influence in Southeast Asian Politics”

  1. […] Interesting Choice Yasukuni War Shrine’s Influence in Southeast Asian Politics « International Humanity […]

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