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Koizumi: What’s Wrong with Shrine Worship?

Posted March. 28, 2004 23:36,   


Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro said again that he would visit a controversial shrine with remarks that seemed to describe war criminals of the Second World War who are honored there as “heroes.”

According to Mainichi newspaper on March 28, Prime Minister Koizumi said a day earlier in a special report program on a private broadcasting TV station that “he could not understand why foreigners oppose my cherishing the memories of our war dead” in connection with the criticism from Korea and China on his worship at the Yasukuni Shrine worship.

On the subject of war criminals enshrined together at the Yasukuni Shrine, he added that “those who tell me not to visit the shrine just because some disagreeable people (an allusion to war criminals) are enshrined there are even stranger to me.”

He seemed to refer to the war criminals enshrined there as heroes when he said that “one country’s hero is another country’s villain,” and added that “it is absurd to think about history on the same foot.”

In response to this, Asahi newspaper criticized Prime Minister in an editorial on March 28, saying that “we feel a little uneasy about our leader.”

Hun-Joo Cho hanscho@donga.com