Japanese PM Abe Visits Yasukuni Shrine, Chinese Reactions

Japan Prime Minister Abe Shinzo visiting the controversial Yasukuni Shrine where WWII war criminals are buried, on 2013 December 26.

Japan Prime Minister Abe Shinzo visiting the controversial Yasukuni Shrine where WWII war criminals are buried, on 2013 December 26.

From NetEase:

Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo Visited Yasukuni Shrine This Morning

Xinhua newsflash — Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported on the 26th that Japanese government announced that Prime Minister Abe Shinzo visited the Yasukuni Shrine this morning at 10:30am Beijing time. Abe claims he is doing so in compliance with his commitments as Prime Minister to pay homage to and mourn the dead, not to hurt China and Korea, and remains committed to together building good relations with China and Korea. Additionally, he hopes the Japanese people ill understand the meaning of his visit, and allegedly he may from this point on visit every year. Abe stressed that visiting the Yasukuni Shrine is a pledge that Japan will never again wage war in the future.

Abe Zhinzo expressed to reporters after visiting the Yasukuni Shrine, “My choice to visit today is because I want to recognize all the work done by the new government this past year, as well as promise that the Japanese people will never again be drawn into a war.”

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visiting the controversial Yasukuni Shrine where WWII war criminals are buried, on 2013 December 26.

“I understand that because of some misunderstandings, some people criticize the act of visiting the Yasukuni Shrine as honoring World War II war criminals, but today I am promising the start of a new era, that people will never again experience the suffering of war.”

Abe at the same time said, “I have never intended to hurt the feelings of the Chinese and Korean people [damage the relationship between Japan and China/Korea].”

Japan’s Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio expressed to media journalists that he believes a politician or head of state visiting the Yasukuni Shrine is a matter of individual belief, “no matter what, we must avoid this becoming a diplomatic or political crisis.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visiting the controversial Yasukuni Shrine where WWII war criminals are buried, on 2013 December 26.

Abe had previously visited the Yasukuni Shrine for the annual fall festival in October of last year as President of the Liberal Democratic Party, but had not visited since becoming Prime Minister. For the annual spring and autumn festivals this year, Abe had both times made an offering of a “masakaki tree” under his title of “Prime Minister”. On the August 15th “anniversary of the Japanese surrender”, he had made a monetary offering at his own expense as President of the Liberal Democratic Party.

While participating in the presidential elections for the Liberal Democratic Party last year, Abe expressed “extreme loathing” that he wasn’t able to visit the Yasukuni Shrine the first time with the Cabinet. The second time, after becoming Prime Minister, Abe has been sizing up the situation, constantly looking for a suitable opportunity to visit. “With regards to honoring the brave souls, visiting is necessary,” something that Abe has maintained all along. In view of this, Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine despite domestic and foreign pressure is of great significance. This is Abe’s first visit throughout his two terms as Prime Minister, and the last visit by a Japanese Prime Minister was in 2006, when the Prime Minister of the time Koizumi Junichiro specifically chose the August 15th anniversary of the Japanese surrender to visit.

Japan Prime Minister Abe Shinzo visiting the controversial Yasukuni Shrine where WWII war criminals are buried, on 2013 December 26.

Starting in 1975, all Japanese Prime Ministers had visited the Yasukuni Shrine as “private individuals” On 1996 July 29, the Prime Minister of the time Hashimoto Ryutaro visited the Yasukuni Shrine as “Prime Minister”. Former Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro visited the Yasukuni Shrine six times on 2001 August 13, 2002 April 21, 2003 January 14, 2004 January 1, 2005 October 17, and 2006 August 15.

China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has previously expressed that the Yasukuni Shrine problem concerns whether or not Japan properly recognizes and deeply reflects upon its history of invasion and colonialism, and whether or not it respects the feelings of the people of China and other victim Asian countries.

Japanese media says this is the first time since Koizumi Junichiro in 2006 that a current in-office prime minister has visited the Yasukuni Shrine. Japanese media analyzed that Abe’s choice to visit the Yasukuni Shrine one year after his regime took office is primarily to cater to the demands of conservatives in the country. Abe’s visit will interfere with head of state talks between Japan and China/Korea.

According to reports, both China and Korea have already expressed strong opposition [to the visit].

Japan Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.

Comments from NetEase:

1個好朋友 [网易江苏省无锡市网友]:

Rationally analyze, objectively confront.

网易湖北省武汉市手机网友 ip:119.103.*.*:

I’m embarrassed to even say anything [criticize/condemn].

网易广东省东莞市手机网友 ip:183.23.*.*:

Have our nuclear submarines go sail a route [around/near Japan].

网易湖北省荆州市松滋市网友 ip:61.184.*.*:

Any response or counter should be principled, with benefit, with moderation, where the people of the various Asian nations are united in jointly opposing Japan’s conduct.

wang58376670 [网易辽宁省本溪市网友]:

We must be rational, without being duped by the Japanese, because what they want is us to have internally disorder and chaos.

网易山东省济南市网友 [拳击霉狗脚蹬日寇]: (responding to 119.103.*.*)

Japan doing this is something China and Korean anticipated long ago. In any case, it is ultimately about national strength. Visiting or not visiting [the Yasukuni Shrine] is just symbolic. All that matters is whose economy is stronger, whose military is more powerful, and I think the world will again return to the eve of World War II, so Chinese people, give up on your delusions, prepare to go to war, because Asia truly lacks one last war!

vip小虫 [网易黑龙江省哈尔滨市网友]: (responding to above)

If it is just a localized conflict involving the Diaoyu Islands, China will definitely lose!~
If China wants to win, it must be all-out war, and it must be resolute in wiping Japan off the face of the earth in order for it to be possible!
Fighting a localized war, China simply has no advantage!
However, in my view, it would not be so easy for China and Japan to go to war even if they wanted to! Because China cannot rid itself of Japan; just look at the products all around us and you’d know [it’s true]!~


Hehe, I am a Northeasterner, and listening to what my grandmother used to say, when Japan first occupied the Northeast, they killed a lot of resisting Chinese people. Later when their occupation was stable, they began to treat this place like their home, and began to treat the Chinese people well, as well as enacted some legislation that protected the Chinese people. My grandmother said what left a deep impression on her was a soldier who was executed for raping a Chinese woman, and that after several years, the Northeast had completely changed. She never said how, but what was certain was that after Japanese rule, she ate better than she did before. Also, in the past when people had fevers, they would all eat herbal medicines, but now they could go get IVs in the cities. In the past, people didn’t even dare think it could be so easy to get Western medical care, and there came with the Japanese many in the medical fields.

Slowly, people’s attitudes towards the Japanese began to change, cursing them as devils here to bring misery on their lips, but approving of the [improvements in] material life that the Japanese brought in their hearts. More and more Japanese people arrived in the Northeast to live, and there were even some people who even married Japanese girls to be their wives, and slowly, people were no longer so against them. However, when hearing about Japan continuing to invade China, people would still hate the Japanese to death, but very few people rose up to fight against Japanese rule, because in fact, capitalism had already completely corrupted them. What was even more important was being able to get enough to eat in those days, that food was like it is now in our age of peace and prosperity. That was very hard to come by and in the end, many people began becoming numb to notions like national unity. In comparison to the unrest and insecurity [of life] in China, Manchukuo was frankly paradise on Earth.

Then after the Japanese surrendered, my grandmother said that on the day the Japanese surrendered, her father said that although it was worth celebrating, life would again become difficult. During the Japanese occupation, the Northeast’s agriculture was very developed, with widespread mechanization. In those few years, I dare to be certain that many people in the Northeast lost their sense of direction, because there was a very big difference between the Japanese and Chinese way of life/society, or at least in the eyes of the law [under the Japanese], all Chinese people were equal… Forget it, not going to go on…

网易黑龙江省手机网友 [透明的天空蓝]: (responding to above)

Hope there will be even more truths exposed.

网易上海市手机网友(58.246.*.*): (responding to above)

Hehe, I’m also a Northeasterner, but how come I’ve never heard anything like this?

网易黑龙江省哈尔滨市网友 [zanyczar]: (responding to above)

After Manchukuo was founded, it became one of the fastest growing economies in Asia and even the world at the time. In 1945, Manchukuo’s industrialization surpassed that of Japan itself, first in Asia. Manchukuo established a relatively complete and advanced industrial system at the time in Asia, including rail transportation, aviation, maritime, steel, coal, train locomotive, automobile manufacturing, airplane manufacturing, military, and other industries. It was the largest industrial system in China up until the Cultural Revolution. Manchukuo industrial output in 1936 was worth 807 million yuan, but by 1940, it had reached 2.647 billion yuan; productivity had increased over 60%. It formed relatively complete industries including metallurgy, mining, airplane, locomotive and automobile manufacturing, shipbuilding, textile, transportation and logistics, and energy. Manchukuo was once Asia’s most developed and richest country, its manufacturing industry for a time surpassing Japan.

网易浙江省杭州市西湖区手机网友 [romaxhliang]: (responding to above)

All fucking bullshit.

网易湖北省咸宁市网友 ip:27.24.*.*: (responding to above)

An Australian slave, your grandmother didn’t tell you how many times the Japanese fucked her? You may very well be a Japanese descendent, and Abe may be your kin, or even your brother by another mother, and then you’d be shoulder-to-shoulder with the king. Australian king man, hurry and go acknowledge your relatives, maybe your father even has a place in the Yasukuni Shrine. US-Japanese spies sure know how to make up shit.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Comments from NetEase:

gly20000 [网易福建省泉州市手机网友]:

They’ve [the Japanese] visited N times now… and there hasn’t been any bad/harmful consequences.

网易北京市手机网友 [网易北京市手机网友]:

Little Japan, once again duping people. Chinese people, little Japan is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. If little Japan is not wiped out, there will never be a day of peace/security.

网易浙江省绍兴市网友 ip:183.144.*.*: (responding to above)

You go wipe out then. This important task we’ll give to you.

网易浙江省台州市网友 ip:211.140.*.*:

The men of China declaration: Tomorrow, wipe out Japan; in one month, unify Asia; in two months, occupy America.

网易江苏省盐城市手机网友 ip:180.126.*.*:

Domestic problems are domestic problems, but against the outside we must be united!

czguohao [网易江苏省南京市手机网友]:

Resolutely oppose!

网易北京市网友 [伍毛他爹一块]:

If China and Japan were to go to war, and China wipes out Japan, what benefit is there to the ordinary common people? Will [we] no longer have to consume gutter oil? No longer have to breathe smog? Will be able to afford medical care? No longer have to live in wells? No longer have to enter a lottery to buy a car [to get a license plate]? No longer have limits on buying real estate property? If nothing changes, what the J8 are you getting excited for?

Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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