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Abe's shrine visit grave provocation, fuels regional tension

English.news.cn   2013-12-26 12:16:02            

by Shi Xiaomeng, Ma Mengli

BEIJING, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Yasukuni shrine on Thursday is a grave provocation that may lead to heightened tension in the region.

The visit came at the first anniversary of Abe's taking office as prime minister. It is also the first visit by a sitting Japanese prime minister since Abe's predecessor Junichiro Koizumi visited the shrine in 2006.

Choosing a sensitive time to visit a highly controversial and notorious place, Abe knows perfectly what he is doing and the consequences.

Instead of a pledge against war, as Abe has claimed, the visit is a calculated provocation to stoke further tension.

It will deeply hurt the feelings of those victimized by Japan's war crimes, stirring up nightmare memories among Japan's neighboring countries.

By visiting the shrine that honors Japan's war criminals, Abe is publicly challenging the post-World War II order, and embracing the country's dangerous tradition of militarism.

The visit is the culmination of Abe's year-long policy of right-wing nationalism.

During the past twelve months, Japan, for the first time in eleven years, raised its military budget.

Earlier this month, Tokyo approved a new national security strategy and defense policy package spearheaded by Abe to expand its military might.

In the security strategy, Japan vowed to seek more "proactive" roles for its military forces abroad and to set new guidelines on arms exports, signaling a major shift from its previous restrictive policy.

Japan also unveiled a so-called "helicopter-equipped destroyer" Izumo which is much more like an aircraft carrier with a length of 248 meters and a weight of 19,500 tons on the 68th anniversary of a U.S. atomic bombing in August.

Despite Japan's domestic economic woes, a considerable amount of government spending has been or will be invested in building up military strength instead of beating a 15-year deflation.

Apart from those military moves, the Abe administration also seized every opportunity to recast Japan's wartime history with a impenitent tone.

In April, Abe said that the definition of "aggression" has yet to be fixed, trying to defend Japan's invasion into Asian neighbors during the Second World War.

The hawkish and irresponsible actions and remarks, vainly whitewashing the country's war crimes in its history, will only hurt Japan's relations with the war-victim countries.

The right-wing Japanese politicians, who never fully understood how to deal with its history of militarist aggression, is steering Japan towards a dangerous road leading to nowhere, again.


Commentary: A dangerous Tokyo, again

BEIJING, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Some 80 years ago, Tokyo, the capital of the Japanese empire, was the dangerous place where many of its reckless militarist policies were born and where some of the worst nightmares of its neighbors began.

During the 1930s and 1940s, Japan, which had long seized the Korean Peninsula, invaded China and the Southeast Asian countries, opening one of the darkest and bloodiest chapters in modern Asian history. Full story

News Analysis: Abe's true militaristic, nationalistic ideologies coming to the fore

TOKYO, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Serious questions are being raised of late regarding Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ruling Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) heavy-handed approach towards regional tensions the nation is currently embroiled in and the future militaristic course Japan is reverting to.

Abe himself is an unabashed, pugnacious nationalist, but during his first short stint as prime minister in 2006 he managed to veil the degree of his right-wing fundamentalism, and as he wooed the electorate for a second term when he took office a year ago, it was based on his aggressive attitude towards reviving the economy and Japan's fiscal health. But that stance has shifted and political pundits and regular citizens here are gravely concerned.  Full story

Yearender: Abe repackages old, risky ideologies, triggering regional anxiety

TOKYO, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has brought dramatic change to Japan's political arena since he took office almost a year ago.

However, relations between Japan and its neighbors have remained strained during the period as regional tensions mount over territorial disputes and discontent over Japan's refusal to reflect on its wartime history.  Full story

Ex-PM Koizumi calls for nuke-free Japan, green lights visits to Yasukuni

TOKYO, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- Former Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan (LDP) Junichiro Koizumi on Tuesday denounced current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plans to bring the nation's idled nuclear reactors back online, stating that other senior politicians share a similar ideology. Full story

U.S. scholar voices against possible visit to Yasukuni by Japan's Abe

TOKYO, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- A renowned U.S. scholar on international relations voiced here on Tuesday against possible visit to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Joseph Nye Jr., distinguished service professor at Harvard University, said at a symposium named "U.S.-Japan Alliance in the new era" here that "visits to the Yasukuni Shrine have become the symbolic of the 1930s and of the problems that Japan has not overcome in terms of its history with its neighbors." Full story

About 160 Japanese lawmakers visit Yasukuni Shrine

TOKYO, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- About 160 Japanese lawmakers from a nonpartisan group on Friday morning worshipped the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine during its autumn festival, according to local media. Full story

China responds to Abe's Yasukuni Shrine offering

BEIJING, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Thursday responded to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe making an offering to Tokyo's war-linked Yasukuni Shrine by urging Japan to properly deal with the issues surrounding the controversial site. Full story

Editor: Bi Mingxin
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