Prime Minister Koizumi Yasukuni visit protested

In complete disregard of internal and international opposition, Prime
Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro on August 13 visited Yasukuni Shrine, the
controversial war shrine in Tokyo.

Shii Kazuo, Japanese Communist Party chair, took the microphone at
Shinjuku Station in Tokyo shortly after Koizumi's Yasukuni visit,
emphasizing that the prime minister can pay his respects to the war dead
only by making a genuine reflection on Japan's war of aggression.

JCP local assembly members and branch members also took to the streets in
Tokyo to denounce Prime Minister Koizumi for his Yasukuni Shrine visit.

Chinese Ambassador to Japan Wu Dawei on the same day visited the Foreign
Ministry to protest against the Yasukuni visit. The Korean Residents Union
in Japan chair also issued a statement saying that Prime Minister Koizumi's
Yasukuni Shrine visit adds to the pain Koreans endure to this day.

Many trade unions and democratic organizations, including the All Japan
Teachers and Staffs Union (Zenkyo), the Japan Peace Committee, and the New
Japan Women's Association, issued protest statements.

Zenkyo's statement said that the prime minister's Yasukuni Shrine visit
amounts to glorifying the war of aggression and violating constitutional
principles of peace.

The Kyushu Plaintiff's Group on the Yasukuni Shrine Lawsuit comprising
religious persons issued statements saying that Prime Minister Koizumi's
Yasukuni Shrine visit undermines the Constitution's Article 20, which
stipulates that "Freedom of religion is guaranteed to all. No religious
organization shall receive any special privileges from the State." (end)