JCP Shii: Prime Minister's Yasukuni Shrine visit is approval of war of

Ignoring objections expressed in Japan and abroad, Prime Minister Koizumi
Jun'ichiro visited Yasukuni Shrine on August 13, two days before the
anniversary of the Pacific War's end. Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii
Kazuo at a press on the day published the following statement of protest:

Yasukuni Shrine is a special shrine which enshrines war dead based on the
belief that Japan's war of aggression was a just war. The prime minister's
visit to the shrine, for whatever reasons it may be, is a manifestation of
his approval of the war of aggression.

In a published statement, the prime minister said he chose to visit the
shrine on August 13 instead of August 15 after considering criticisms both
inside and outside Japan. Notwithstanding the change of date, the issue
remains unchanged. What he has done is nothing less than deception.

The Japanese Communist Party protests against this unconstitutional act
defying the wishes for peace of conscientious people at home and abroad.

During the last war, Yasukuni Shrine served as the spiritual mainstay of
Japan's war of aggression and militarism; it enshrined those who died
heroes' deaths for the emperor's sake as deified war heroes. This is a
historical fact which everyone knows.

After the war's end, Yasukuni Shrine changed its status to become a
religious corporation, but its approval of the war of aggression has not
changed a bit.

In the shrine's precincts stands a large statue of the founder of the
Imperial Army, and various weapons which were used in war, including
"Kaiten," a one-man torpedo for suicidal attack,s are on display. There
stands a monument with the inscription of the Imperial mandate for the
military, and a locomotive of the wartime railway between Thailand and
Burma, which was built by prisoners of war and laborers conscripted by the
Japanese Army, is also exhibited. These exhibits are clear evidence that
Yasukuni Shrine represents approval of the war of aggression.

Currently Yasukuni Shrine is holding a special exhibition entitled, "Thus
fought a modern Japan." The pamphlet for this special exhibition begins with
the Sino-Japanese War and the Russo-Japanese War and covers the "Manchurian
Incident," the "China Incident," and the "Greater East Asia War." They call
the Pacific War the Greater East Asia War to show their approval of Japan's
war of aggression. Every description in the pamphlet is made in praise of
Japan's war of aggression.

This is the Yasukuni Shrine which Prime Minister Koizumi visited. In his
statement today, Prime Minister Koizumi apparently reflected on Japan's
aggression and colonization which he said was based on mistaken national
policies. But what he did today contradicts the statement, even if he
repeats such kinds of statements a million times. His visit to the shrine is
proof of this.

Prime Minister Koizumi's visit to the shrine has caused immeasurable
damage to friendship between Japan and neighboring Asian countries. He said
that he would ask for other nations' understanding after the visit. An
influential newspaper in Asia criticized this, saying how arrogant it is for
him to kick others and then ask for their understanding. Indeed, it is very
arrogant and insolent of him to push forward with his plan and demand that
others follow him.

At a time when Yasukuni Shrine and school history textbooks are burning
issues, a current is rising which describes Japan's war of aggression as the
"Greater East Asia War," insisting that the war had such noble objectives as
Japan's self-defense and the liberation of other Asian nations. And the
government sides with this view. This endangers peace and democracy in Japan
and relations between Japan and other Asian nations into the 21st century.

Since its founding 79 years ago, the JCP has consistently opposed the war
of aggression at the sacrifice of its members. We will continue to oppose
any movement of the forces which eulogize the so-called "Greater East Asia
War." (end)