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Politically Motivated Yasukuni Visits

Posted June. 13, 2006 03:08,   


In a phone interview with Takahashi Tetsuya, professor of Tokyo University Graduate School General Culture Research Center, who published a book named “The Question of Yasukuni,” on June 6, he said, “Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro is using worship at Yasukuni as a political means to promote the people’s support. Considering the recent tendency of Japanese politics, it is highly likely that his successor will pay homage to the war dead at Yasukuni.”

“If Japanese political leaders continue to visit Yasukuni Shrine, Korea and China’s distrust will deepen more,” he added. “On the other hand, Japanese nationalistic emotions will be stirred up, thus shaking up peace in East Asia.”

He also said, “The separation of politics and Yasukuni was a pillar in the democratization of Japan led by the Allied Force after war. American intellectuals will probably criticize Yasukuni worship more fiercely.”

“Its bad impact on international relationships aside, our political leaders’ Yasukuni Shrine worship goes against Japan’s Constitution that announces the separation of politics and religion.”

Arguing that political leaders’ Yasukuni worship is an obstacle to the progress of Japanese democracy, he strongly objected to Koizumi’s and his successor’s Yasukuni worship.

Kwang-Am Cheon iam@donga.com