Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Reaction to Elvis Koizumi's Yasukuni Visit

is varied in Japan. Half of his own party objected mostly because of the damage it is doing to Japan's diplomatic relations in northeast Asia. The opposition parties are pretty much fully opposed, because they believe it is inappropriate to worship at that shrine which includes class A war criminals and has a section which justifies Japan's actions in the war. Many consider it as morally wrong as do the real victims of Japan's aggression in the war.

From the NHK evening news tonight, the so-called "man-on-the-street" interviews gave a mixture of opinions, mostly leaning toward support for Koizumi's Tojo worship. (Naturally, this stuff is nearly useless as a gauge. A program after the news gave me a similar impression as most of the guests seemed to support it. I did not watch it all, however.)

Many Japanese oppose this sort of thing and are well aware of Japan's WW2 wrongs. However, they seem to be a decreasing minority. They certainly don't have enough power to force a change. I believe this sort of thing will increase, rather than decrease, especially if Abe becomes the next PM. He is even more nationalist and rightwing than Elvis Koizumi.

(Today Koizumi made it an offical government visit by signing his name and title. In the past he gave the bogus argument that he was doing so as a private citizen. So I guess one can say that the Japanese government was officially represented by Koizumi at the shrine today. I am sure that would be denied though.)

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