The Chinese media harshly criticized Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for sending a ritual offering to the controversial Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo on the anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II. The politician chose not to go to the shrine in person this year but still showed his respects to Japan’s war heroes at the Yaksuni shrine.
The shrine honours 2.5 million citizens who died in World War II and other conflicts, including 14 military leaders convicted of being WWII class-A war criminals.
“Mr Abe revealed that he will not visit the Yasukuni Shrine today, but he has presented a ‘tamagushi’ (ritual offering). As a prime minister, he is stubbornly playing this ‘edgeball’ to ‘clip’ the ‘edge’ of the ending of World War II and the Tokyo Tribunal for Japan” the Global Times quoted by the international media comments.
“This was a compromise or shrine worship in a roundabout manner. US pressure was the main reason why his shrine visit was abandoned… Abe is still looking for the right opportunity to honour his political pledge of an official shrine visit”, writes Lu Hao, a Japan studies expert at the ChineseAcademy of Social Sciences in the People’s Daily.
Some of Abe’s ministers chose to go to the shrine in person, to pay their respects to Japan’s soldiers who died in the war.