National / History

Yasukuni Shrine protesters from Hong Kong remanded pending court ruling: activist group

Kyodo

Two Hong Kong activists who were arrested by police over trespassing after staging a protest at the Yasukuni Shrine last week were remanded in custody following a court appearance Wednesday, the duo’s activist group said.

A judge at the Tokyo District Court adjourned the case and will deliver a ruling at a later date, a member of the Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands said.

Kwok Siu-kit, one of the activists, was seen in a video clip uploaded online standing at the shrine’s entrance last Wednesday next to a burning makeshift memorial tablet with the name of wartime Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, who is enshrined at Yasukuni, written on it. On the video, he can be seen shouting “Down to militarism! Forget not the Nanjing Massacre! Japan must apologize!”

Yim Man-wam, a journalist who filmed Kwok’s actions, was also arrested at the time.

The shrine honors millions of war dead, including convicted war criminals, and is seen as a symbol of Japan’s militarist past by neighboring countries that suffered under Japanese occupation or colonialism before and during World War II. China and South Korea regularly condemn visits to the shrine by Japanese leaders.

China’s Foreign Ministry has called on Tokyo to ensure the legal rights of the two detainees. Staff members of the Chinese Embassy in Japan have visited them at least once during their detention.