Abe to stay away from Yasuku Shrine festival

PM Shinzo Abe will not visit war-related Yasukuni Shrine’s autumn festival this week, in an attempt to improve strained ties with China and South Korea, a government source said Saturday. Instead of going to the shrine, Abe is considering sending a “masakaki” tree traditionally used in Shinto rituals, just as he did in April for its spring festival, the source said. Abe apparently is looking to appease China and South Korea, who vehemently oppose visits by Japanese prime ministers and Diet members to the controversial shrine, as well as conservative voters who returned his Liberal Democratic Party to power last year, the source said. (Japan times)

Japanese president desires to improve relations with China and South Korea, as well as U.S. concern over friction between Japan and its two Asian neighbors, will very likely keep him away from the controversial Yasukuni Shrine during the institution’s autumn festival on October 17-20, it has emerged. Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine is dedicated to the spirits of Japan’s war dead, and Class A war criminals are also enshrined there. A figure close to the prime minister, revealed that “the U.S. has told us not to provoke China, and Abe is also taking that into account. Through you could call Yasukuni a purely domestic issue, visiting at this time of year would appear as though Japan was prodding China and South Korea.”(mainichi.jp)

Unfortunately Japanese former Prime minister’s visits to Yasuku Shrine has brought on tensions with China and South Korea repeatedly in the past. Yasukuni Shrine is a very controversial place because the war criminals from the Second World War are buried enshrined at this site. Many conservative Japanese people wish to pay their respects to those who sacrificed their lives for the imperial Japan. Unfortunately Japan has never officially admitted the numerous crimes committed during the Second World War and Japanese children have not been taught the historical facts in classrooms..so many people in Japan actually don’t understand why China and South Korea react so strongly every time Japanese prime minister and political figures from Japan visits the shrine.

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