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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 March 28 - April 3  > Government deeply involved in enshrinement of war criminals at Yasukuni
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2007 March 28 - April 3 [POLITICS]

Government deeply involved in enshrinement of war criminals at Yasukuni

March 30, 2007
Previously unpublished documents concerning Yasukuni Shrine, compiled and submitted to the Diet on March 28 by the National Diet Library, revealed that the Welfare Ministry and the shrine had pushed ahead with the enshrinement of war criminals at Yasukuni in consultation with each other, and that the shrine had wanted to keep the fact unpublicized for fear of public opposition.

In 1958, the ministry’s Repatriation Bureau proposed that some Class-B and Class-C war criminals be honored at Yasukuni in an inconspicuous manner.

A year later, when those war criminals were enshrined at Yasukuni, the shrine requested the ministry to keep the fact out of the public eye and wait until the public might smoothly accept it in future.

Concerning the Class-A war criminals, the ministry in 1966 sent to the shrine a list of such war criminals with their enshrinement in mind.

About three years later, the shrine presented to the ministry its opinion that it would be possible to enshrine the Class-A war criminals.

At the same time, the shrine requested the ministry to not announce the enshrinement and informed its intention to directly notify the bereaved families of the enshrinement. This shows that the shrine sought to carry out the enshrinement of war criminals in strict secrecy.

In the end, 14 Class-A war criminals were secretly enshrined in 1978.

As many ex-military officials assumed executive posts in the Repatriation Bureau that took over the services for former demobilized soldiers, the documents show that these ex-military officials were deeply involved in war criminals’ enshrinement.
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