Meanings behind PM’s Yasukuni Shrine visit

Every year on August 15, East Asia steels itself for the possibility that Japan’s head-of-state will visit the Yasukuni Shinto Shrine, and in doing so, commemorate Japan’s war dead.

This particularly riles China and the Koreas, that saw millions die under Japanese aggression during World War 2, as the shrine is home to “the souls” of more than one-thousand convicted war criminals.

This year, on the verge of his Prime Ministerial retirement, Junichiro Koizumi has paid his respects at the shrine — for the first time on the anniversary of Japan’s World War 2 surrender and Memorial Day.

Adam Connors asks Robyn Lim why this visit is so contentious.

She is the Professor of International Relations at Nanzan University in Nagoya, a former head of the Asia-Pacific section of Australia’s Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the author of The Geopolitics of East Asia.

See also:

Neighbours’ response to shrine visit: 16.8.2006

Japan’s response to shrine visit: 16.8.200

Meanings behind PM’s Yasukuni Shrine visit: 16.8.2006

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