Sunday, April 13, 2014

Asian countries protest Japanese minister's Yasukuni visit  

No! they did not do it again, and this time just before US president Obama visit to Japan!?? Jesus! On the contrary, one did. Yoshitaka Shindo, Shinzo Abe’s Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications, visited the Yasukuni shrine saturday April 12th just prior to attend the prime minister Shinzo Abe cherry blossom garden party at Shinjuku Gyoen. I just saw Yoshitaka Shindo at 09:50am (photo) walking in front of my camera, crowded on this day. I flashed and no more. He smiled (embarrassed?) when asked things. As we see on my photo, Minister Shindo was on the other side than First Lady Akie Abe, she apparently did not want to cross his way.

Mr. Shindo’s grandfather is Tadamichi Kuribayashi, who fought as the leader of approximately 22,000 Japanese soldiers to defend Iwo Jima at the end of World War II. Mr. Shindo now serves as an adviser to the group of survivors and bereaved families whose relatives perished in the battle of Iwo Jima. "His visit to Yasukuni Shrine, which is a matter of his heart and conscience, and the Government of Japan's policy are two totally separate matters," as a FB friend, who is a spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry, emailed me.

But... Shindo also promoted Japan's claims in territorial disputes including its assertion of sovereignty over Takeshima 竹島 Dokdo 독도/獨島 Liancourt rocks controlled by South Korea. Seoul naturally criticised Mr. Shindo's visit to Yasukuni “as anachronistic and called on Japanese politicians to work toward a trust-based relationship." And... Yoshitaka Shindo, who is the Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications, (controls the NHK) defended NHK President Katsuto Momii who made these early year controversial statements about Japan’s wartime activities. NHK top Katsuto Momii has been criticized for saying that women forced into sexual slavery during the Second World War were “common in any country at war.” Momii has since apologised for the comments, which caused anger of the Chinese, South Koreans and much of the Japanese public. 3,300 viewers had called for NHK chief Momii’s resignation after the "comfort women" gaffe.

So it looks like there is a pattern of attitudes here. Yasukuni, Comfort Women. Not to be attributed to an eventual 花見 Hanami drunkenness under the sakura.

Of course we sure would like to report about other things...

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