Yasukuni Shine

      Ron - Received this from ALPHA

      Dear friends,

      The Prime Minister of Japan, Junichiro Koizumi visited the Yasukuni Shine in which war criminals including Tojo and other Class-A war criminals are enshrined. Below is the news for your reference.

      "It is the new year and I want to affirm anew the virtue of peace and show our resolve not to cause war again,'' Koizumi told reporters prior to the visit. How would we feel if the German Chancellor explains his visit to a cathedral enshring Hitler and Nazi war criminals is to affirm anew the virture if peace and show his resolve not to cause war again?

      Thekla Lit
      President of B.C. ALPHA & Co-chair of Canada ALPHA

      Full Story:

      January 15, 2003By TARO KARASAKI, The Asahi Shimbun

      Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi walks through the corridor of Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo./The Asahi Shimbun The Yasukuni issue once again enrages China and South Korea.
      Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi prayed for the war dead at Yasukuni Shrine on Tuesday, an early visit that was intended to minimize criticism from abroad but instead infuriated two of Japan's partners in trying to defuse the North Korea crisis.
      Koizumi renewed a pledge that Japan would never again cause war, during his third visit as prime minister to the shrine, where the nation's war dead,
      including Class-A war criminals, are enshrined.
      The prime minister's previous visits were timed around symbolic events, such as the Aug. 15 anniversary of the end of World War II, in 2001, and the shrine's spring festival in late April 2002.
      Both visits drew harsh criticism from Seoul and Beijing.
      The latest visit was apparently timed to minimize criticism from victims of Japan's aggression before and during World War II.
      Early on Tuesday, Koizumi appeared confident that the visit would not hurt Japan's relations with China and South Korea.
      ``It is the new year and I want to affirm anew the virtue of peace and show our resolve not to cause war again,'' Koizumi told reporters prior to the visit. ``As in the past, I have explained (my shrine visits) to both countries. Our friendly relations have not changed, and I hope that they will understand our friendly relations will not change.''
      However, South Korean and Chinese officials said they could not understand why Koizumi felt the need to pay homage at what critics say is a symbol of Japan's militarism.
      ``Prime Minister Koizumi's mistaken act will undermine the political base of China-Japan relations, and has hurt the feelings of the people of Asian countries, including China,'' Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said in a news conference.
      Responding to a reporter's question, she said the timing of the visit was irrelevant because the heart of the matter was how Japan's leadership perceived history.
      Kim Hang Kyung, South Korea's vice minister of foreign affairs and trade, summoned Toshinao Urabe, the minister of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul, to protest Koizumi's shrine visit.
      ``It is incomprehensible that the prime minister decided to visit following last year,'' Kim said. ``Considering the great pain and damage inflicted upon our country during Japan's colonization, we hope that the Japanese government takes sincere measures not to allow further damage.''
      In Tokyo, the Foreign Ministry expressed concern that Koizumi's latest visit might cause problems.
      ``We hope that his motive will be fully understood by neighboring countries and there will be no negative impact on the cooperative relations'' in dealing with North Korea, said Jiro Okuyama, assistant press secretary at the ministry.
      Koizumi told reporters in December that he intended to visit Yasukuni Shrine in 2003, but did not specify when.
      ``The prime minister had made his intentions to visit clear, and it was a matter of timing,'' said a senior Cabinet official. ``The earlier the better to avoid causing complications in diplomatic relations.''
      The official noted that Tuesday's visit was timed well before the ascension of South Korean President-elect Roh Moo Hyun to office in February, as well as the finalization of top posts of China's Communist Party in March.
      Koizumi's visit also came after a panel to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda recommended in December that a new national memorial for the war dead, unattached to any religion, should be erected. But the panel-criticized and largely ignored by members of the Liberal Democratic Party, including Koizumi-left the final decision to the government.
      ``I am not sure how the visit will be perceived,'' Fukuda told reporters.
      ``This is a matter of the prime minister's personal beliefs. We can only explain and have (China and South Korea) understand.''

      Arthur - I will be more than pleased when I read that the Emperor has entered the shrine for the as time. God speed his spirit to hell where he will be among his contempories.

      Peggy - Well, I think the exception to the rule would be to find a Japanese post-war Prime Minister who has NOT visited the Japanese war shrine. Koizumi's performance is just one in a long-line of pilgrimages paid by Japan's highest officials over the years.

      Does anyone know if any Japanese Prime Minister has ever visited a Allied cemetery or a cemetery to the Asian dead, victims of Japanese agression?

      Japan's post-war Prime Minister KISHI was a Class A war criminal held at Sugamo and liberated by the Americans. Kishi was Tojo's associate and a major player in Manchuria and in orchestrating the heroin trade, worth then $3-billion a year to the Japanese military. Kishi oversaw among other things, tens of thousands of Asian slave laborers involved in creating the "miracle" state of Manchukou for the Kwantung Army. Thekla can speak volumes about this.

      David - Arthur alluded to this, but did not go further, Bilderberg.org can be
      found here:-
      More here :-

      If you cannot get to McArthur et-al, try "bilderberg", in google.

      Peggy - Actually, I'll hazard a bet. I'm going to check this out, but I would wager that since President Reagan paid his visit to the SS cemetery back in the 1980s, this ended any coy (or secret visits) made by Japanese officials to the Yasukuni Shrine.

      As a Yank I was very offended by Reagan's gesture. When the President or Prime Minister, in an official capacity, does something like this -- he is not acting as a private citizen. He imposes his views on the rest of his countrymen.

      Darren - Just like to say what a pleasure it is to be receiving the emails from the FEPOW Community group.

      I have no FEPOW background, my late father was born after the war and his father was in the local Home Guard. On my mother's side I believe she had an uncle who was captured but sadly no one knows anything about him. Any information about the Far East up to now has been read from history books and what a teacher may have mentioned in passing at school ... many years ago! Incidentally until a few years ago I was always under the impression that the British were defeated in the Far East due to their lack of adapting to the jungle and poor training, that is what I was led to believe! Of course that is not the case, I know that to be untrue now.

      My zest for further information about FEPOWs is now growing all the time. For my web site about my hometown during the war I included info about the 4th & 5th Suffolk Battalions in Singapore. My visits to the local Record's Office were very illuminating and now I am finding information on behalf of others who have contacted me via the site and who are wanting to know about a relative who served in the Suffolks. A couple of years ago I knew nothing about the Suffolks in Singapore!

      My thanks must go to Ron for passing some of these people's queries on to me. Like I said I am no veteran, neither am I an expert, I'm just trying to understand. The wider and more varied the conversation in my opinion, the better. It attracts more people who may have no interest up to now, more people who may also want to understand. I put all FEPOW emails into a folder, some are relevant to want I am interested with, others are not. I may not want to know about FEPOW cooking right now, but it goes into the folder all the same as I may be interested some other time, just because I am not interested in it then I do not feel I should deny someone else that information.

      I'm not sure where this message is leading to and so I'll end it now and just say thanks Ron for your efforts for this community, thanks to those who replied to my query about the treatment of coloured men as POWs (sorry for the lack of a reply - yes I did know about the Tuskagee airmen) and thanks to you all the reading has been very interesting. Keep on posting. :o)

      Keith - >Darren, That was a very well written message, and I feel the same way, only I do have a FEPOW background. As time goes on, and I have been at this for almost four years now, I am amazed by how much I do not know. I tend to concentrate on the Coastal Artillery, and to an extent any other Royal Artillery Regiments, but I do sometimes get sidetracked.
      Our Dutch friends have provided a lot of interest of late, as has Arthur and George. Have you noticed how much mail Arthur and George get from the girls?
      Needless to say, any questions regarding the 4th/5th Suffolks that I get are going to come your way.
      It is interesting too that we are now talking others from all over the world. I responded to a question on the Message Board that I thought was UK based, and the reply came from Canada.
      Can you even begin to imagine trying to research without this form of communication?
      I am 53, but Arthur is a wee bit older, as is George, and this was not about when we were lads. Yet, they have mastered this new found technology, and are willing to share.

      Ron has worked hard to get us a safe message system, long may it continue.




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