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Should Japanese leaders give Yasukuni Shrine a wide berth?

by Thomasina Larkin

Shounago Tadamasa
School manager, 31
Koizumi and the new prime minister both shouldn’t visit Yasukuni shrine. The prime minister has to think about relations with China and Korea. Visiting the shrine is harmful for the economy, for trade and for politics.

Jaime Reban Jones
Caterer, 30
It would be wise indeed for Japan to seek good trade relations with China and Korea because in the long run it might not be able to count on America to fulfill its trade needs due to the U.S.’ poor international relations and huge debt.

Yuka Tsugo
Sales, 26
I think Yasukuni is important for Japanese people. Everybody prays to their ancestors, even if he or she was a murderer. Japanese leaders are the same. They pray for the Japanese who fought for our country.

Stephane Leroux
Artist, 31
I don’t care so much if Koizumi is going to the shrine in private and without journalistic coverage, but if it’s shown to all the world, I can’t agree with it because he represents all of Japan and I don’t know if that’s how all Japanese feel.

Maria Fini
Researcher, 36
There are too many unsolved problems related to the shrine. Not many people know these war dead have been honored without any invitation or request by the government or their families. It’s a matter of sensitivity.

Kumiko Togawa
Receptionist, 34
Japanese leaders should stop visiting Yasukuni. It’s easy to imagine China and Korea’s feelings about it. I don’t think it affects economic relations between Japan and other countries. People in economics are more adult than politicians.