Although Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed not to visit the Yasukini Shrine during its spring festival, he donated a 50,000 yen gift as an offering. As he commented, “I want to keep on showing respect for those who fought for their country and died, and praying for their souls.” When asked by reporters if he would visit the shrine, he responded, “I won’t make any comments on whether or not I will visit Yasukini and whether I paid for the offering or not because making any comments regarding Yasukini would hurt (Japan’s) diplomatic and political relations with China and South Korea.”
Actually, Abe donated 50,000 yen to dedicate a sakaki tree or cleyera japonica to the shrine for the annual spring festival. A spokesperson commented, “I guess it is not appropriate for the government to make any comments on the prime minister’s activities as a private person.”
The Japanese War Bereaved Families Association recently held a meeting to discuss a proposal to separate out Class A war criminals enshrined at Ysukini from the bodies of ordinary dead soldiers.
Information from the Japan Times
This issue is not one of any interest to the average American, but it deeply concerns people in China, Korea, Thailand and Indonesia who lost millions of their citizens during World War II. The sensible solution is to separate out Class-A war criminals who initiated and conducted a brutal war from the lives of ordinary soldiers who were doing their jobs. I am reminded of the famous Ronald Reagan visit to the Bittburg cemetery in Germany where he visited the graves of dead SS soldiers and apparently did not have a clue he was honoring those who helped kill millions, including six million Jews. I find it amusing when prominent Republican Jews talk in rapture about Reagan as some sort of god-like figure. The man was as insensitive as Prime Minister Abe when it comes to honoring dead soldiers. The people of China lost over six million and Japanese war leaders sanctioned medical experimentation on Koreans which Abe symbolically supports by his visits.