China opposes Japanese officials' homage to militarist shrine

2023-10-18 Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download
Civic groups rally against Japan's aggressive military buildup and attempts to amend its pacifist constitution in Tokyo on Tuesday. (Photo by Jiang Xueqing/

Civic groups rally against Japan's aggressive military buildup and attempts to amend its pacifist constitution in Tokyo on Tuesday. (Photo by Jiang Xueqing/

China has expressed firm opposition against Japanese Cabinet members and other politicians paying homage to the militarism-linked Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, urging Japan to deeply reflect on its history of aggression and draw a clear line with militarist past.

"The Yasukuni Shrine is a spiritual tool and symbol of Japan's militarism and its initiation of aggressive wars against other countries," said the spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Japan on Tuesday. "Japanese leaders paying their respects to the shrine, which enshrines Class-A war criminals from World War II and glorifies the aggressive war, once again reflects an incorrect attitude toward history. China firmly opposes this."

"We strongly urge the Japanese side to earnestly face and deeply reflect upon their history of aggression, to clearly distance themselves from militarism, and to gain the trust of Asian neighbors and the international community through concrete actions," the spokesman said.

In conjunction with the start of the autumn festival at the Yasukuni Shrine, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made a ritual "masakaki" tree offering to the shrine on Tuesday.

Since taking office in October 2021, Kishida has been making offerings of "masakaki" during the spring and autumn festivals but has refrained from personal visits, The Asahi Shimbun, a daily newspaper in Japan, reported.

Japan's Minister in charge of Economic Revitalization Yoshitaka Shindo and Minister in charge of Economic Security Sanae Takaichi paid their respects on Tuesday; Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura did the same on Monday. Nishimura registered himself as "a member of the House of Representatives" during his visit.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said on Tuesday China firmly rejects Japan's negative moves concerning the Yasukuni Shrine and has lodged demarches to the Japanese side.

Many Japanese civic groups and individuals have expressed strong opposition to Japan's military expansion and moves toward amending its pacifist constitution.

According to Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.

During a rally against Japan's aggressive military buildup and constitutional reform in Tokyo on Sept 19, Shoichi Mineo, deputy general-secretary of Kanagawa High School Teachers and Staff Union, said the Kishida administration's approach to the pacifist constitution is rather ambiguous, and it doesn't seem to treat the constitution with the seriousness it deserves.

"The Kishida administration appears to believe that strengthening the military is the only way to defend peace, a course of action we consider to be dangerous. The Japanese government should place greater emphasis on dialogue and communication with neighboring countries," Mineo said.

"If the priority is the well-being of its citizens, Japan should collaborate with Asian nations to prevent the recurrence of such a heinous state as militarism," he added.

Nahoko Hishiyama, secretary-general of a grassroots group opposed to a proposal by former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe to revise Japan's constitution, said Japan is gradually moving in the direction of a country that could engage in warfare.

"Japan's military expansion and the trend of strengthening its military alliance with the United States are not favorable developments. Japan should be a nation that upholds its pacifist constitution and should not continue down this path," Hishiyama said.

Related news


Most popular in 24h

MoreTop news


Back to top About Us | Jobs | Contact Us | Privacy Policy
Copyright ©1999-2023 All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
[网上传播视听节目许可证(0106168)] [京ICP证040655号]
[京公网安备 11010202009201号] [京ICP备05004340号-1]