The article on Mr. Koizumi mentioned that his visit to the Yasukuni Shrine displeased a fairly large portion of the Japanese population.
Tablets representing 2.5 million Japanese warriors are at this shrine. Of those 2.5M, 14 represent war criminals. Furthermore, some of the wars are ones that Japan today wishes they hadn't participated in. Apparently some Japanese feel that Prime Ministers who visit the shrine are condoning war crimes and bad wars.
Well, nobody from Japan is likely to visit my lil ol' site, but just in case they do:
This solitary American figures (a) 14 is a pretty tiny percentage of 2,500,000 and (b) even if certain wars were wrong or misguided or even just plain rotten, honoring those who fought and tried is still appropriate and not necessarily an approval of the actual war. We all have 20/20 hindsight.
Anyway, I'm not offended by the Yasukuni Shrine, nor by Koizumi's visit to it. I'm offended by the people who are trying to kill me today, and I appreciate Japan's corresponding response to the evil of today.
2 weeks ago