Wartime Prime Minister Gen. Hideki Tojo gave orders in a secret document that Yasukuni Shrine should honor only those who are killed in battle, according to the document made available Saturday.
The document, dated July 15, 1944, and issued under the name of Army Minister Hideki Tojo, says only military personnel and civilian military employees whose deaths "resulted directly from military service" should be enshrined at Yasukuni. Tojo was concurrently serving as army minister.
The document says those who died in places other than on the battlefield are in principle not entitled to be honored at the war-related Shinto shrine. If his orders were observed, Tojo and other Class-A war criminals should not have been entitled.