Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, visiting the Yasukuni Shrine last

year. If he were to do so again this year, it would undoubtedly add to

the growing alarm of surrounding nations, who see a right-wing Japan

seeking a return to militarism.



Like Germans and Nazis, Japanese Must Admit to Imperial Crimes (JoongAng Ilbo, South Korea)


"As long as the Yasukuni cult dominates the Japanese mentality and the graves of war criminals are cherished, it is very hard to expect Japan to mourn like the Germans. ... We understand how the surviving families of Japan's war dead feel. They also suffered in the defeat. But they don’t yet seem to realize that the monster which dragged them into the hell of war was internally incubated militarism."


By Nahm Yoon-ho*


August 14, 2013


South Korea - JoongAng Ilbo - Original Article (English)

General Hideki Tojo, Prime Minister of Japan during most of World War II, and the person most responsible for the attack on Pearl Harbor. Sentenced to death for war crimes by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, he is still revered by many on the resurgent Japanese right.

CCTV NEWS VIDEO, CHINA [STATE-RUN], U.S.: Asiana Pilots Names from KTVU News, July 17, 00:04:15 RealVideo

At the Grave of the Seven Martyrs in Aichi Prefecture, Japan enshrines seven Class-A war criminals, including Hideki Tojo, who was sentenced to death by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, and hanged in 1948. The fact that this executed war criminal is referred to as a martyr illustrates Japan's skewed historical perspective.


After his execution, the U.S. Military Occupation Government immediately had Tojo’s body cremated in Yokohama and ordered the ashes scattered in the Pacific Ocean by plane. The belief at the time was that this would prevent his remaining supporters from sanctifying the remains.


And indeed, Tojo supporters, including his defense counsel, colluded with the manager of the crematorium and managed to hide and preserve some of the remains. A handful of ashes from each of the seven war criminals ordered executed were deposited into a common jar. Since separating them would have been impossible, the ashes were kept together.


The urn was then hidden at the Koa Kannon Temple (dedicated to the Bodhisattva of Compassion) in the famous hot spring town of Atami until its existence was devulged in 1958. It was then moved to Aichi Prefecture and buried in its current location. A memorial grave for Hideki Tojo also exists in Zoshigaya Cemetery in Tokyo, bereft, of course, of his the actual remains.


The situation in Japan is quite different from that in Germany, where finding a grave of executed Nazi war criminals is exceedingly difficult.


When one asks Japanese where Tojo is buried, most mistakenly say the Yasukuni Shrine. Tojo and a number of other Class-A war criminals are enshrined in Yasukuni, which commemorates Japan's 2.47 million war dead [1068 are convicted WWII war criminals]. However, no remains or ashes are kept there. The shrine has only name plates of the dead. Rather, at Yasukuni, they are enshrined as “gods.” In other words, Yasukuni is not a grave. It is considered by many Japanese to be a memorial and national religious site.

Clipping from the March 7, 1965 edition of

Pennsylvania's Reading Eagle. [READ]


Germany and the Nazis


What about Germany, another defeated World War II nation? Germans also have a memorial dedicated to victims of the war. The Neue Wache, or the New Guard House, is located in Berlin. During the nation's division, it was in East Germany, and was called the Memorial to the Victims of Fascism and Militarism. In 1993, after reunification, the German government rededicated it as the Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany for the Victims of War and Dictatorship.


On the third Sunday of every November, a Day of Mourning ceremony is held there. The holiday commemorates many of the war's victims, including the soldiers who drafted by the Nazi regime, civilians killed during the armed conflict, Jews and gypsies who died in concentration camps, and foreign nationals who fought against the Nazis.


While German soldiers who were mobilized for the war of aggression are also mourned, neighboring countries don't protest because they are classified as victims of war and dictatorship. This is made possible by the fact that they are considered separate from the Nazis, and because Germans acknowledge the evil nature of that war and have pledged not to repeat it.


The Hankyoreh, South Korea: On Korean Independence Day, Japan Must Admit to its Crimes


In this sense, Japan is far behind. Some still romanticize the country’s past aggression, and argue that a visit to Yasukuni belongs in the realm of religious freedom.


It is only right that people who sacrifice their lives for their country should be mourned. But an aggressor needs to concern itself with the countries it invaded and convince them of the universality of the mourning it does, just as Germany has. Regrettably, as long as the Yasukuni cult dominates the Japanese mentality and the graves of war criminals are cherished, it is very hard to expect Japan to mourn like the Germans.


Like Worldmeets.US on Facebook



Talks of establishing a national mourning facility began more than a decade ago, but little progress has been made. Of course, we understand how the surviving families of Japan's war dead feel. They also suffered in the defeat. But they don’t yet seem to realize that the monster which dragged them into the hell of war was internally incubated militarism.

Posted By Worldmeets.US


In the Murayama Statement of 1995, the Japanese government apologized for its colonial rule. But once you make an apology, you need to consistently maintain that position. One can only doubt their sincerity when their actions fail to align with their apologies. Yasukuni visits by Japanese cabinet members are nothing but a denial of their past apologies. Is that how Japan really wants to behave?


*Nahm Yoon-ho is an JoongAng Ilbo editorial writer


Nara Shimbun, Japan: Japanese Must Continue to Lead 'Battle' to Abolish War
JoongAng Ilbo, South Korea: U.S. Shielding of Emperor Hirohito Behind Japan's Denial of History
Rue 89, France: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is a Threat to Democratic Japan
Japan Times, Japan: Osaka Mayor Refuses to Retract 'Comfort Women' Remarks
J-Cast, Japan: Why Further Humiliate 'Comfort Women' by Calling them 'Sex Slaves'?
Ryukyu Shimpo, Japan: Abe to Humiliate Okinawa with 'Restoration of Sovereignty Day'
Hokkaido Shimbun, Japan: Shinzo Abe Must End Gamesmanship Over Post-War Constitution
Iwate Nippo, Japan: Imposed 66 Years Ago, Time Has Come to Revise 'Pacific Constitution'
Ryukyu Shimpo Shimbun, Japan: Okinawans Will Not be 'Pawned Away' to Curry U.S. Favor
Okinawa Times, Japan: Futenma Relocation Plan a 'Slap in the Face' to Okinawa People
Ryukyu Shimpo Shimbun, Japan: Battle of Okinawa Victims Deserve Better from Government
Okinawa Times, Japan: Okinawans will 'Spew Magma' Over Crimes of U.S. Forces
Global Times, China: Continued Dependence on America is Bad for Japan
Ibaraki Shimbun, Japan: After Osprey Deployment, Japan Government 'Cannot Be Trusted'
Chunichi Shimbun, Japan: On Okinawa Battle Anniversary, People Feel Abandoned
Ryukyu Shimpo, Japan: Okinawans ‘Unswervingly’ Against ‘Defective’ Osprey
Tokushima Shimbun, Japan: Okinawa Deserves Freedom from American Bases
Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan: Okinawa Governor 'Adament' About Osprey
Asahi Shimbun, Japan: Opposition to Osprey Deployment Grows
The Okinawa Times, Japan: It's Time to End Japan's 'Servitude to America'
Nishinippon Shimbun, Japan: It's Imperative for Japan to Look Outward Again
Nishinippon Shimbun, Japan: Revise ‘Inequitous’ U.S.-Japan Security Deal
Ryukyu Shimpo Shimbun, Japan: After Quake, Japan Can Ill Afford U.S. Base Repair
People's Daily, China: Australia Should Avoid Helping U.S. Hurt China's Interests
Australia: Aussie Coverage of Obama's Visit to Darwin; His Challenge to China
Isen Shimbun, Japan: Despite its Mistakes, Japan Needs U.S. More than Ever




blog comments powered by Disqus
































































Posted By Worldmeets.US Aug. 14, 2013, 2:19am