National / Politics

Prime ministers' Yasukuni visits

Following is a chronology of events related to prime ministers’ visits to Yasukuni Shrine:

Oct. 18, 1951 — Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida visits Yasukuni.

Aug. 15, 1975 — Takeo Miki becomes the first serving prime minister to visit Yasukuni on the surrender-day anniversary.

Aug. 15, 1978 — Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda visits Yasukuni.

Oct. 17 — Yasukuni begins honoring wartime Prime Minister Gen. Hideki Tojo and 13 other Class-A war criminals.

Aug. 15, 1980 — Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki visits Yasukuni. He also visits the shrine on the anniversary in 1981 and 1982.

Aug. 15, 1983 — Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone visits Yasukuni, signs the guest book as “Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone.” He also visits on the 1984 anniversary.

Aug. 9, 1985 — A private advisory panel to Chief Cabinet Secretary Takao Fujinami submits a report saying a prime minister’s visit to Yasukuni is constitutional unless it is made under a religious rite.

Aug. 15 — Nakasone makes an official visit to Yasukuni, becoming the first prime minister to do so in this capacity since the war.

Aug. 14, 1986 — Chief Cabinet Secretary Masaharu Gotoda announces Nakasone will not visit Yasukuni the next day.

July 29, 1996 — Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto visits Yasukuni, the first prime minister to make the visit in 11 years.

April 18, 2001 — Junichiro Koizumi, running for the presidency of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, pledges he will visit Yasukuni on Aug. 15 as prime minister.

Aug. 13 — Prime Minister Koizumi visits Yasukuni, becoming the first to visit in five years.

April 21, 2002 — Koizumi pays a second visit to Yasukuni.

Dec. 24 — Private advisory panel to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda submits a report advocating the need to establish a state-run, secular permanent facility to pray for the war dead and peace.

Jan. 14, 2003 — Koizumi pays his third visit to Yasukuni.

Jan. 1, 2004 — Koizumi makes his fourth visit to Yasukuni.

Oct. 17, 2005 — Koizumi pays his fifth visit to Yasukuni.

April 15, 2006 — Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe reportedly visits Yasukuni.

Aug. 15 — Koizumi pays his sixth visit to Yasukuni.