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``Strange People`` Japanese Prime Minister`s Remark Creates Stir

``Strange People`` Japanese Prime Minister`s Remark Creates Stir

Posted November. 03, 2001 09:33,   


A number of former soldiers drafted by the Japanese Imperial Army and their descendants in Korea, Japan, and China filed lawsuits on Thursday against the Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi for his visit to the Yasukuni Shrine. Prime Minister Koizumi`s remark that called the plaintiffs `strange people` is creating a stir.

Plaintiffs and the opposition party leaders criticized Prime Minister Koizumi saying that ``that is the evidence which shows that Prime Minister Koizumi has not sincerely reflected on the past history.``

Tsukahara Tasunori (61, Buddhist priest), one of the plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit to the Osaka District Court, said that ``I feel quite dishonored by his remark as it trampled down efforts made by each plaintiff.``

Kikuchi Masaaki (58), leader of the plaintiffs who filed a lawsuit to the Matsuyama District Court, said, ``It does not make sense that he [Prime Minister] said `it does not make sense’ without reflecting upon criticism poured on him. We hope that he can understand why we filed a lawsuit by studying constitution more.``

Hatoyama Yukio, the representative of the Democratic Party, said by insinuating Prime Minister Koizumi that ``there is a strange Prime Minister. To visit the Shrine as Prime Minister is highly likely to be unconstitutional. Why does he say that it does not make sens? It makes sense very well.``

Hukushima Mizho, secretary-general of the Socialist Democratic Party, also criticized Prime Minister saying that ``there are pros and cons concerning Prime Minister Koizumi`s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, and Asian countries also protested against his visit. In this sense, it was harsh to call the plaintiffs `strange people.``

Sato Atsushi, Prof. of Kanakawa University, also said that ``I was very surprised by the remark of Prime Minister Koizumi since it demonstrated that Prime Minister Koizumi lack the sense of human rights and the consciousness of protection of human rights.``

Asahi Shimbun forecasted that the South Korea-Japan relationship, which showed the sign of recovery as Prime Minister Koizumi expressed `reflection from heart and apology` when he visited South Korea in October, may become rough again.

The Council on the Reparation for the Pacific War Victims, which is helping 118 Korean plaintiffs, said at the statement, ``The denunciation of conscientious Japanese citizens and the Korean victims as `strange people` is clearly `reckless remark` Prime Minister Koizumi`s remark demonstrates that what he said during his visit to South Korea was only lib service. If he does not apologize, we will take a strong countermeasure.``