Jul 30 2006, 11:54 PM
TOKYO — A grandson of former Foreign Minister Shigenori Togo, convicted as a Class-A war criminal in a postwar international tribunal, urged Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's successor to refrain from visiting Yasukuni Shrine in a monthly magazine to be published Tuesday. http://www.crisscross.com/jp/news/380298
In an interview in Gendai, Kazuhiko Togo, a former ranking Foreign Ministry official, said, "Fully aware of opposition that may arise from some quarters, I would like to propose this: That the successor to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi declares a moratorium on visiting Yasukuni." He added: "I cannot believe the current situation where discord with China and other Asian nations is deepening is a future for Japan desired by the souls of the departed war heroes who consecrated their lives for 'peace in the Orient."'
Jul 31 2006, 04:00 AM
I hope this carries on. There is still hope.
Jul 31 2006, 09:46 AM
Yes, I agree, I hope this carries on.
I think there is definitely a coordinated, quiet, "behind the scenes" campaign by Japan's top elite circles (the "OB network) to pressue Abe to stop the Yasukuni visits. Fukuda, who was the strongest candidate besides Abe, opposed the visits to Yasukuni. He dropped out of the race, saying "I am too old to continue in politics," but I think it was because the LDP wants unity, so they got Fukuda to drop out. However, as soon as Fukuda dropped out, the Minister of Finance, the other candidate to replace Koizumi, suddenly said he thinks the Yasukuni visits should stop. The other two members of Koizumi's old "YKK" group, both very influential in the ruling party, also went public at the same time, saying the Yasukuni visits should stop.
And then there was the release of the documents of the old secretary of Hirohito who said Hirohito said something negative about Yasukuni in the 1970s, all coming at the same time as all these other guys making these statements. And now we have this statement by Togo's grandson, coming at the same time, saying the visits should stop.
And at the same time so close to Koizumi saying he will visit in August, and so close to the September election of the new LDP leader/Prime Minister. This is too much to be a coincidence. I think I know these "OB" (old boys) style -- They are not like Koizumi and Abe, who shoot off their mouth for the TV cameras and then fail to build a solid network of people to get the job done. These Old Boys, other other hand, work behind the scenes in back rooms, building a consensus. They know Abe will be the next prime minister, so they are carefully building a campaign to pressure him indirectly from all directions.
I wish there could be more public education in Japan about what Yasukuni really supports behind their fake facade, but I guess this will have to do...