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Koizumi to “Visit Shrine Next Year Again”

Posted August. 10, 2004 21:55,   


Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro said that he would visit the Yasukumi Shrine next year again despite strong opposition from Korea and China. The shrine honors Japan`s war dead, including several class-A criminals of the World War II. The prime minister said so when he was asked about his opinion on the controversial visit to the shrine in regard to a recent China-Japan soccer match where Chinese spectators expressed their antipathy against Japan.

The conflict between China and Japan, which seemed impulsive in some ways, is not expected to be settled soon after Koizumi’s remarks.

Summit diplomacy between the two nations has been suspended since October 2001 when the Chinese government rejected the Japanese prime minister’s visit to China, citing Koizumi’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine.

Among 17 Japanese Cabinet members, Minister Shoichi Nakawawa of Economy, Trade and Industry, Chairman Kiyoko Ono of the National Public Safety Commission, and Minister Yoshiyuki Kamei of Agriculture, Forest, and Fisheries said they would visit the Yasukuni Shrine on August 15, the memorial day of Japan’s surrender at the World War II.

Kazuyoshi Kaneko, Minister of State for Industrial Revitalization Corporation of Japan and Heizo Takenaka, Minister of State for Financial Services, Economic and Fiscal Policy of Japan said that they would visit the shrine but not on August 15.

On last year’s war memorial day, four incumbent Cabinet members paid a visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, and Koizumi visit the shrine on the first day of this year without prior notice.

Won-Jae Park parkwj@donga.com