Abe: Ministers can visit Yasukuni

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe again declined comment Tuesday on whether he will visit the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on a World War II anniversary next week, but added he would not tell his ministers not to go.

“I will not respond (to the question about) whether I will visit” the shrine on the Aug. 15 anniversary of Japan’s surrender in the war, Abe told a press conference in Hiroshima, amid prospects that any such visits would trigger fierce criticism from neighboring countries, most notably China and South Korea.

“Whether Cabinet ministers will visit (Yasukuni) in their private capacity is an issue of their belief. So they are free” to go, he added. “I will not request my ministers to visit or not to visit (the shrine). I should not do that.”

Government and ruling party sources said last week that Abe will refrain from visiting Yasukuni on the anniversary to avoid worsening relations with China and South Korea that are already plagued by territorial rows as well as divergent perceptions of Japan’s wartime aggression in Asia.

  • JTCommentor

    “I will not request my ministers to visit or not to visit (the shrine). I should not do that.”

    Yes you should. You are the party leader, you set the scene. If you are serious about reconciling with your negihbors, then you should grow a spine, lock up your ego for one day of the year – say with confidence and strength that of course you will not attend, and you will encourage your ministers not to attend.

    Its a small gesture, thats not giving anything of importance up, except your pride, that could allow a step closer to reconciliation.

    You know, give and take?

  • Jasonkid

    Give and take? Nice idea. The problem is that China just takes and takes.
    Ask India. Go to Yasukuni Shrine PM Abe. The Chinese replied to your overture with three ships in Japanese waters. Stand firm!