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Ediacara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:21 AM
Original message
Court says Japan PM war shrine visit illegal | BBC
Japan PM war shrine visit illegal


Koizumi has been to the shrine
four times in three years


A court in Japan has ruled the prime minister's visits to a controversial war shrine are unconstitutional.

A number of war criminals are buried at the Yasukuni shrine, which Junichiro Koizumi has visited four times since taking office in 2001.

The district court said that the visits violated laws on the separation of church and state.

But Mr Koizumi said that he found the ruling on his visit "strange" and would go to the shrine again in the future.

"I don't know why it violated the constitution," he said.

More at the BBC
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DarkPhenyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:25 AM
Response to Original message
1. Oh, bloody fucking hell!
I have to side with Koizumi.

It isn't like he told everyone inthe country to follow his religin, or even that he claimed to be his version of God's annointed leader of Japan.

He's following his own beliefs in his own time. Give his ass a break ok?
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bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:31 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. koizumi is a right WINGER
and showing the SAME ignorance and hubris of not only ours but also of the era from which still haunts the world let alone the cematary he elevates with his homage.

i think it not only unwise but also morally reprehensinble considering japan has yet to apologize to any she terrorized during that horrid war.

i openly admire and respect japan and her people but i REALLY don't like kuzomi... bet you couldn't tell ;->

:hi:

peace
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DarkPhenyx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:37 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. So he is a right winger.
Here's a shocker for you. That dosen't make him wrong.
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bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:13 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. 'WINGER'
makes him an RADICAL as the term TYPICALLY implys and as i stated above he is simular to our neoCONs.

you don't think our neoCONs are right do you.

peace
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RoyGBiv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 01:09 AM
Response to Reply #5
31. The Shrine
I don't want to sound all reactionary or pompous, but you need to understand something about the Japanese century old struggle with a "workable history" to realize why this is a Very Big Deal. There are currently some very big culture wars taking place that are attempting to color the actions of Japanese leaders and royalty prior to and during WWII as not only reasonable but correct and worth repeating. A large part of this is an intellectual battle that seeks to explain away previous atrocities as the actions of well-intentioned individuals working for the greater good of Japan. Many of those people who committed these actions, such as Tojo, are buried at that shrine.

I do find it weird that his visit is being considered unconstitutional, but I know next to nothing about Japanese constitutional law. That aside, the visit, state sponsored or not, was a silent statement indicating the PM is taking a side in this inner war, and it is troubling that he's doing so.

To put it in perspective, imagine there being a shrine to Hitler in Germany and the German PM making a visit.

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chenGOD Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 09:00 AM
Response to Reply #31
33. Welcome to DU
Like the handle :) BOC are amazing.

Nice post by the way, very concise and reasoned.
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 07:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
28. Ohhhh,...well, that explains it then,...
,...'cause I really could not understand what this could be all about. Now, I see that it is rather similar to Dubya goin' to Dr. King's grave; his politicking being more a desecration than anything else.
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bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:25 AM
Response to Original message
2. maybe he see's WAR comming BACK in fashion?


"You and I,
we are cherry-blossoms of the same class,
we fight for the army and navy air-wing,
Like the cherry blossoms which will fall,
we will fall,
but we will fall in glory and in fashion."

peace
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:07 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. Maybe HE thinks it's coming back in fashion, but
no one I know here in Japan wants to sacrifice themselves or their sons and daughters for the glory of the motherland.
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bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:14 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. doesn't matter
what the people want.

we're in Iraq right now, no?

he's a neoCON.

peace
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:00 AM
Response to Reply #12
18. Yeah, Koizumi's a NeoCON,
And the SDF are in Iraq, but the Japanese people accepted it, I believe, because they were told that it was strictly a humanitarian mission.

The Japanese people do not worship war like some people we know. Japanese parents are also very doting (they don't even mind if their kids continue to live at home after graduating from university), so they aren't going to take reinstitution of the draft lying down. Also, there are still lots of people around who remember the horrors from the previous war.

Call me an optimist, but I don't think Koizumi has the power to go much farther with this.
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psychopomp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Bush has Koizumi
like he thought he had Pootie-Poot. Koizumi and the LDP would have their necks on the line now if there was a viable opposition element.

Still, the public is increasingly jumpy about the deployment and the possible reprocussions domestically; if it gets too dangerous the public sentiment could quickly turn against this unwise choice of action.
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bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. dangerous situation all around
i know the peacful japanese people are certainly not happy with the current state of affairs and if they decide to speak out in unison koizumi will reap the whirl/divine wind.



peace
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psychopomp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 06:49 AM
Response to Reply #7
14. Art, I agree, but I'd like to get your take on this
It seems that this will be overturned on appeal. I do not see how it could not.

If PM Koizumi had not signed "Prime Minister of Japan" it would not be an issue that could be brought before the courts at all, would it?

On the Japan war issue, the day that a soldier becomes a casualty is the day that the 1 billion dollar superfortress in Iraq built by the GSDF gets put up for sale.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. I don't have any idea how the law would work in this case
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 09:32 AM by Art_from_Ark
I do know a law student at Tokyo University, however. Maybe he would have some insight.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #14
27. According to a TV program that I'm watching
Edited on Wed Apr-07-04 07:07 PM by Art_from_Ark
on Fuji TV, it seems that the Fukuoka District Court based its decision on the fact that Koizumi used a government vehicle to travel to the shrine, brought along his government-paid secretaries, and three other reasons which I was unable to catch. Thus, it does not appear to be solely a matter of signature. Yet Koizumi insists he did this as a private citizen and not as a government official, and maintains that he will visit the shrine again in August. He said he "cannot understand at how how it would be a violation of the Constitution."
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Just Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #27
29. Ah-hah!!! Using one's political office for personal indulgence!
If he wants to pay tribute,...he has to do it on his penny.

Imagine if we Americans were so disciplined about separating personal indulgences from public representation.

I say, let's institute such political disciplines. They would do our country a world of good!!!!
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Frangible Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:35 AM
Response to Original message
4. i'll never understand why japan got off so lightly
In germany, nazism is illegal and they've made monuments to the holocaust. Chancellor Gerhard went to Auchwitz, got down on his knees, and cried.

Meanwhile in Japan, they've never even bothered to apologize for the rape of nanking or any of the other atrocities and millions of chinese dead.

His visit to this "shrine" would be roughly akin to Gerhard going and paying homage to Hitler and Himmler.

It's an insult and I expect nothing less of a full apology from him.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:05 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. All the imperial powers were guilty of atrocities before the war
And our hands are far from clean in that department.

I hate atrocities, no matter who commits them.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:15 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Another thing
Japan hardly escaped unscathed-- it was, and still is, the only country ever nuked. In addition, numerous Japanese cities were firebombed nearly into oblivion.
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colorado_ufo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 02:01 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. Actually, it only seems that Japan got off lightly.
As usual in wars, the stories and sufferings of the general population went unreported. After all, it is understandable that many people, especially in the US, justifiably had no sympathy for any part of the Japanese population and were not interested in reading about their hardships.

The philosopher, pacifist, and musical great Shinichi Suzuki (yes, the same Suzuki who invented the teaching technique of little violins to fit children's hands)reported that he refused to fight but was put to work in an aircraft factory during the war. After the war, he and his wife were separated for a long period of time, and both almost starved to death.
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bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:16 AM
Response to Reply #4
13. a defeated, trying to surrender nation that got NUKED twice
and you think they got off 'lightly' :crazy:

peace
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nodehopper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #4
15. Japan did not get off that lightly
Its standing army was eliminated. And two of its cities were destroyed by atomic bombs. I suppose there was no equivalent of Nuremberg for Japan, that's true, but I guess the world did not have a moral mandate for trying Japan for war crimes after Hiroshima and Nagasaki...it's a case of two wrongs making a wrong...but sitll, I wouldn't say Japan got off "lightly"
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #15
17. Actually, there was a Japanese version of the Nuremburg Trials
It was called the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and was convened from 1946-48.

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nodehopper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 01:30 AM
Response to Reply #17
32. thanks, good to know!
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WhereIsMyFreedom Donating Member (605 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #4
23. Getting off lightly
The recent documentary 'Fog of War' has a very moving scene about the percentage of cities that were destroyed and compares them in size to US cities. The people certainly suffered during the war. On the other hand, their leaders were generally not punished afterwards like in Germany. My vague memory is that a few heads rolled but their civil leader was left in place.

But you are absolutely right, they have never apologized for the terrible atrocities that they committed on the Chinese. This is an on-going problem. Each new administration there pays homage to their war criminals, China complains about it, and then they make a lame statement apologizing for the visit. Next year, they repeat it.

What I've heard is that the Japanese (even the people) still eye China greedily and still have plans to re-invade the mainland some day. Maybe someone with real knowledge of Japan could shed some light on this?
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Frangible Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. that's exactly what I was trying to say
Yes, the people of Japan suffered greatly. But in the end it was the politicians and military leaders that directed and committed the atrocities, and they, as a whole, got off the hook.

It's roughly akin to punishing the janitor at Enron, yet letting the executives off the hook.

From what I read they are trying to block almost all education of WW2 in Japan now. We must understand and remember the past or we are doomed to repeat it.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. "Getting off the hook"
Read about the International Military Tribunal for the Far East
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Frangible Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #26
35. I have
Which is why I don't think too much of it relative to the Nuremburg trials.
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. "Someone with some real knowledge of Japan"
BPilgrim has a Japanese wife and has done a lot of research about the WWII era, among other things.

Psychopomp and I currently reside in Japan. Speaking for myself, I have written two graduation theses about Japan and have spent half my life learning about the country, and a third of my life living in the country.

I don't know where you heard this nonsense about the Japanese "still eying China greedily and still having plans to re-invade the mainland some day", but it's pure poppycock. What would Japan gain from such an undertaking? Nothing. Only the most fanatical of right-wingers here would even consider sending their sons or daughters off to die for such a harebrained scheme.
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WhereIsMyFreedom Donating Member (605 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #25
30. Thanks
Thanks, you're just what I was looking for.

I heard that "nonsense" from my Chinese girlfriend. I know that the Chinese have a somewhat negative view of the Japanese and I'm not surprised that it is biased. I was just unaware of how biased it was.

In terms of poppycock, the Japanese would have just as much to gain from it now as they did back when they tried it, resources. There is also a difference between wanting something and being willing to pay the price (sending sons and daughters to die) to get it. I'm glad to hear that this isn't the case though.

Any idea how the Japanese people feel about their leaders honoring their war criminals? Do they even realize the message they are sending to the rest of the world?
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 09:20 AM
Response to Reply #30
34. There are lots of differences between then and now
Edited on Thu Apr-08-04 09:24 AM by Art_from_Ark
Then (1930s):
Western powers and Japan have empires

There is a worldwide economic depression

Japan has few friends in the world; anti-Japanese sentiment is high in the US

Widespread hardship, large peasant class, unquestioned devotion to the emperor and the state religion characterize Japanese society.

China is weakened by years of foreign intervention, incompetent leaders and civil war. Technologically speaking, Japan is light years ahead of China.

Now
Most empires have been broken up

The Japanese economy, while not exactly "gangbusters", is still enough to provide the vast majority of people with a comfortable living.

Japan has made a tremendous effort to be accepted by the rest of the world. Most Japanese are concerned with how the rest of the world views their country.

Most Japanese are living comfortable lives, there is a large middle class, there is no state religion, and no one considers the emperor to be a god.

China has nuclear weapons.

Thus, while China might have resources, the cost of invading China, including lives lost in China and the possibility of another nuclear attack on the home front, would be far too high for all but the most rabid right-wingers to consider.


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drumwolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 01:20 AM
Response to Original message
9. How much of a factor are right-wing nationalists in Japan these days? n/t
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Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #9
20. I think it's the right-wingers from outside the country
who have the real influence here.

The ultra right-wing party in Japan, the Hoshu-to, only won 4 of 480 seats in the last parliamentary elections, so they merged with the ruling LDP. I wouldn't know how much influence they currently wield in this capacity. The other right-of-LDP party, and the LDP's coalition partner, the Komei-to, has the third-largest number of seats in the Diet (Parliament), but it pales in comparison with the main opposition party, the DPJ. If there was proportional representation in this country, the DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan) might have been holding the reins of power today.
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bpilgrim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-07-04 11:44 AM
Response to Reply #20
22. the same could be said of this country
"If there was proportional representation in this country"

thats, why the neoCONs were able to make it close enough to steal, contray to the propaganda of the nader haters - though i certainly here where they're comming from.

peace
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