CONTROVERSIAL YASUKUNI SHRINE VISIT – DECEMBER 2013
• The Yasukuni Shrine, located in Chiyoda, Tokyo enshrines more than 1,000 convicted Class A, B and C war criminals and has become a symbol of Japanese militarism.
• Eighty percent (80%) of those enshrined in The Yasukuni Shrine, died during the Second World War.
• Among them are 14 Class A war criminals who were brought to trial by the Far East International Military Tribunal in Tokyo. Memorial tablets of these 14 war criminals were secretly transferred into the temple from another location (the Shinagawa Temple) in 1978.
• Emperor Hirohito was displeased with the 1978 enshrinement and refused to visit the shrine thereafter. No Emperor of Japan has visited the Yasukuni Shrine since Emperor Hirohito’s last visit in 1975.
• A visit last December by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is the first such visit in seven years.
• By paying respect to war criminals, Prime Minister Abe has sent a strong and disturbing message to neighbouring nations like China, who suffered so much from wartime atrocities of the Imperial Japanese Forces. The visit is re-kindling vivid recollections of the ruthless atrocities of past Japanese militarism against mankind.
• Members of the Chinese Canadian Community see this as an endorsement of Japanese militarism, and compare the visit to a German leader honouring the Nazi Party.
• There are many descendents of the victims of the Japanese aggression of World War II living in the Greater Vancouver area. They are still trying to heal from their pain and memories.
• Today, the Vancouver Chinese-Canadian Community organizes annual Remembrance Day services to honour our fallen Canadian soldiers, and to pass this piece of history and our values for peace to future generations.