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HOME  > Past issues  > 2014 April 16 - 22  > Despite fierce criticism, Abe again offers ceremonial tree to military shrine
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2014 April 16 - 22 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Despite fierce criticism, Abe again offers ceremonial tree to military shrine

April 22, 2014
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Yamashita Yoshiki on April 21 at a press conference held at the Diet building criticized Prime Minister Abe’s offering of a ceremonial tree to the controversial war shrine glorifying the past war of aggression.

Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and Welfare Minister Tamura Norihisa earlier on the same day made an offering of a ceremonial tree “Masakaki” to the Yasukuni Shrine at the occasion of its spring festival. Internal Affairs Minister Shindo Yoshitaka and Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission Furuya Keiji paid visits to the war shrine on April 12 and 20, respectively. In December last year, Abe visited the shrine, which provoked international criticism.

The biggest problem is that the raison d’etre of the Yasukuni Shrine is to justify the past war of aggression by claiming it was a just war of self-defense fought to liberate Asian nations from western powers, JCP Yamashita stressed.

When the prime minister visited the controversial shrine last December, the JCP criticized him for undermining the post-war international order, Yamashita said. The U.S. administration also said it was “disappointed” with the PM’s act, he added.

Yamashita condemned the series of actions by the prime minister and his cabinet members.


Demanding that Prime Minister Abe refrain from visiting the Yasukuni Shrine, 273 people including bereaved family members of the war dead on April 21 filed a lawsuit with the Tokyo District Court.

The plaintiffs pointed out that Abe’s visit to the shrine in December last year violated the constitutional provision for the separation of religion and politics. They claimed they experienced mental anguish because Abe’s action created tension between Japan and its neighboring countries and increased the possibility of war.

They requested the court to confirm that Abe’s visit was unconstitutional and called for no more official visits to the shrine and compensation payments of 10,000 yen to each plaintiff.

On April 11, a similar suit was brought to the Osaka District Court as well.

Past related article
> JCP Chair Shii comments on Abe’s shrine visit [December 26, 2013]
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