Explosion damages restroom at Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine

Reuters, Kyodo, AP, AFP-JIJI

An explosion at around 10 a.m. Monday at controversial Yasukuni Shrine damaged the ceiling and a wall of a public restroom near the shrine’s southern entrance.

No one was reported injured in the incident.

The Tokyo Fire Department received a call reporting a small fire at the shrine to the nation’s war dead, but it was out before firefighters arrived, an official said without elaborating.

More than 100 police, firefighters and shrine officials gathered at the site of the incident. Investigators said the explosion left holes in the ceiling and burn marks on the floor of the bathroom. Batteries and other objects believed to be parts of further unexploded devices were reportedly found at the scene.

“Fortunately, no one was injured,” a Yasukuni official said.

The shrine did not receive any threat in connection with the explosion, the said.

The police declined comment as the case is still under investigation. The person in charge of media at Yasukuni was out and not immediately available for comment.

A Shinto festival started at 10 a.m. as scheduled.

The shrine, which honors Class-A war criminals along with 2.4 million war dead, is regarded abroad as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism and visits to the shrine by politicians have stoked protests from China and South Korea.

Some lawmakers have insisted on making official visits in the name of patriotism, while others say such visits glorify Japan’s historical mistakes.

Emperor Akihito has never visited Yasukuni. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also avoided making official visits over the last two years.

While views on the shrine have also divided the public, it holds emotional significance for many because during the war soldiers promised each other they would reunite at Yasukuni if they died.

Many families and tourists visit the shrine, and Monday was a national holiday, Labor Thanksgiving Day.

The shrine has a grandiose gate, giant cherry trees, flocks of pigeons and a museum that pays homage to those who died in Japan’s wars, including kamikaze pilots.

  • Ahojanen

    Good that nobody has got injured, property damages seem rather minimal.

    Either a practical joke or serious terror act, I oppose such physical violence.

  • wrle

    right wingers ready to point the blame in three two one..

    • Forest2014

      Yeah, S.Korea must respect extradition treaty for this time

  • Al_Martinezz

    I thought the shrine was the toilet.

    • Tatsujiro Kurogane

      I thought something similar; I was wondering if they hadn’t confused a bomb exploding with one of those toxic hangover dumps those old guys take in station toilets. Hopefully they can restore it quickly so that visitors can honour those who gave their lives for their country.

  • Hendrix

    Getting my hopes up, I thought the whole shrine went up .

  • GBR48

    However much you might condemn the creepy right-wingers behind the Yasukuni and its fake-history museum, this is wrong: innocent people could have been hurt. Express your feelings vocally, in print and at the ballot box, not with violence.

    It is disturbing that school groups are taken there. If your school arranges a trip there, pull your kids from it and take them to the gorgeous Meiji shrine instead, with a side trip to Takeshita Street and lunch in Harajuku. Conclude an educational day with a visit to somewhere that condemns war crimes, rather than excusing them: The Centre of the Tokyo Raids and War Damage Museum, Kōtō City, Tokyo (Tōkyō Daikūshū Sensai Shiryō Sentā).

    Maybe a large corporate like SoftBank could construct a National Memorial entirely free of associations with war criminals in Ueno or Yoyogi Park and gift it to the nation, to get the focus away from Yasukuni, and prevent politicians from dragging the nation’s international reputation into the dirt quite so frequently with visits.

    Until then, the place serves some purpose, allowing creepy right-wingers to expose their true natures when they go there.

  • 大千釜 創雷

    It would appear that some Yasukuni Shrine haters sensed the presence of the article and crawled out of their holes.

  • Arnaud Compain

    made in china bomb… no Wonder it didn’t worked….

    • tiger

      no worries, the chinese learn really fast

  • Guoqing Yang

    Japanese security police have now concluded the terrorism by South Korean person.
    Now, South Korea is State Sponsors of Terrorism.
    Down with Korea and IS terrorist!

  • Guoqing Yang

    Japanese security police have now concluded the terrorism by South Korean person.
    Now, South Korea is State Sponsors of Terrorism.
    Down with Korea and IS terrorist!