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2024 February 14 - 20 [POLITICS]

MSDF evades 1974 notice by calling worship of Yasukuni Shrine ‘history learning’

February 20, 2024

The Ministry of Defense, in response to an Akahata inquiry on February 19, admitted to the fact that 165 commissioned officers of the Maritime Self-Defense Force in uniform had paid a group visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, an ideologically-infused symbol of Japanese militarism during the prewar and wartime period.

The ministry explained that they went near the shrine in official buses and then visited nearby historic spots on foot in May 2023.

The ministry claimed that worshipping at the shrine was part of “training to visit historical sites around the area for historical study”, apparently for the purpose of evading the 1974 official policy position which bans SDF personnel from offering prayers in groups at religious facilities.
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