Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits contentious war shrine
Wearing formal attire and followed by media helicopters that streamed his visit live on television, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited a contentious Tokyo war shrine Yasukuni early Thursday on Dec 26th 2013, provoking swift condemnation especially from China and South Korea, both victims of Japan's wartime aggression during World War II. The shrine serves as a spiritual symbol of Japanese militarism in its war of aggression and colonial rule during World War II, but it honors convicted war criminal of the war.
Let me first give you some context. You will be aware that there is currently severe friction between old rivals China and Japan over a territory dispute, where China claims Diao-Yu Island to be her territory, her island since Ming Dynasty which was about 600 years ago. Japan currently claims the Island Senkakus belongs to Japan. The tension is very delicate. Shinzo Abe’s decision to visit the war shrine during this territory dispute has sparked anger and bitterness.
I’m Sunny Xu, a diplomatic liaison officer promoting better relations between China and Japan, I’m here today to report that Mr. Abe’s behavior in visiting the war memorial shrine was totally inappropriate. The visit was a deliberately provocative action that further provokes tension between the two countries.
Now onto my first point, Shinzo Abe’s act has invited strong opposition and condemnation from China, South Korea, Russia and other countries. The Yasukuni Shrine is a place where 14 Class-A war criminals and more than 1000 Class-B and Class-C war criminals who were all found guilty by international courts of war crimes at the end of World War II are worshipped. Many of the war crimes were against the Chinese. Abe’s visit to Yasukuni once again seeks to make trouble on the issue of history. Yet his act is no accident, as evidenced by his track record since taking office. He has openly questioned...
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