Prime minister betrays government position

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo at a news conference on June 9 criticized Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro for continuing his Yasukuni Shrine visits. The Shii statement is as follows:

A major change has taken place during the last month regarding the situation relating to the prime minister's Yasukuni visits. Even among Liberal Democratic Party members of the Diet, calls on the prime minister to rethink his Yasukuni visits are increasing. House of Representatives Speaker Kono Yohei, after meeting with five former prime ministers, demanded that Prime Minister Koizumi handle the matter with the utmost discretion. Major commercial newspapers have editorially called for the shrine visits to be canceled. In opinion polls, a near majority of respondents said that the shrine visits should be canceled. Thus, a clear change is taking place. The prime minister should seriously accept the change.

In the House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting last week, I said to the prime minister that his visits to Yasukuni Shrine amounts to approving the shrine's view that justifies the Japanese war of aggression. The prime minister answered, "Yasukuni's position is different from the government's." However, he showed no change in his insistence on visiting the shrine, which is a self-contradiction.

A Yasukuni Shrine-authorized photograph collection entitled "'Showa's War Memorial Hall' Open to the World," published by a group that includes the Yasukuni Shrine chief priest as a member, exalts the war of aggression.

It is serious that the book publicly attacks the 1995 statement by Minister Murayama Tomiichi, prime minister at the time, as a lie and error, in the sense that the notion of colonialism and aggression acknowledged by Murayama was unfounded and false. Its editor's note says that the idea of putting on this photograph collection arose from the "1995 turmoil concerning the view of history." This shows that angered by the Murayama statement, the group supporting the "Yasukuni Shrine's view of history" began their campaign.

It is Yasukuni Shrine that attacks the position of the government and the prime minister as a lie and error. The prime minister's visits to this shrine endorses the shrine's charge that the government lied and erred. This means that the government action contradicts its official view. The JCP again demands that the prime minister stop his shrine visits. - Akahata June 10, 2005

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