Shii presses prime minister to stop visiting Yasukuni

Japanese Communist Party Executive Committee Chair Shii Kazuo on June 2 pressed Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro to cancel his visit to Yasukuni Shrine on the grounds that the government's distorted view on Japan's war of aggression and colonialism is causing an impasse in the country's diplomacy.

Speaking at a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting, Shii pointed out that Japan's 'remorse and apology' for the past war of aggression, which the prime minister expressed in the Asia-Africa summit in Jakarta in April and Yasukuni's view of the war are incompatible, and that Yasukuni Shrine shifts blame for Japan's war of aggression onto the anti-fascist allies.

Shii asked the prime minister if he knows that Yasukuni Shrine justifies the past war as a war that was necessary for Japan to "survive and defend itself and liberate Asia."

Prime Minister Koizumi answered, "I know that Yasukuni Shrine states various things based on that view," but added, "Yasukuni has its own way of thinking, but it is not the same as the government's. Please do not regard anyone who worships at the shrine as a supporter of Yasukuni Shrine's view."

Shii emphasized, "The mission of Yasukuni Shrine, which justifies the war of aggression, is to glorify Japan's past wars," and demanded that Koizumi stop visiting the shrine, stating, "Your visit to Yasukuni as a prime minister amounts to a government authorization of Yasukuni's view of the war."

Koizumi just replied, "My intention is not to justify the war by visiting Yasukuni Shrine." - Akahata, June 3, 2005

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