Another minister from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government visited the controversial Yasukuni Shrine on Monday, the anniversary of the San Francisco Peace Treaty that was signed to give back Japan’s sovereignty in 1952. Meanwhile, a picture of a man dressed as the convicted war criminal who ordered the attack on Pearl Harbor earned a lot of online criticism.
Tomomi Inada, the state minister for administrative reforms, visited the shrine, which honors Japan’s wartime dead. She later told reporters that as a Japanese citizen, she believes it is her right to “express gratitude, respect and condolences to those who sacrificed their lives for their country.” Inada, who is very opinionated about her nationalistic views, said she will continue with her visits to the shrine, even as Japan’s former colonies like China and South Korea protest these kind of moves by Japanese government officials. They believe that the shrine condones and honors the country’s past militarism as Yasukuni also pays tribute to convicted World War II criminals.
Meanwhile, a picture circulating on Twitter shows a man dressed up as General Hideki Tojo sitting on a campaign car of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. This has started online outrage among Japanese netizens, with many criticizing the LDP for tolerating this. A spokesman for the party said that they were not aware of the fact that the man intended to dress as Japan’s wartime leader and if they had known, they would probably not allow him to get in the car and salute the crowd during the event. A Twitter user, identified as @vice0079, claims that he was the man in question and apologized for having offended some people. He said he only dressed up as military policeman in period outfit and had no intention of looking like Tojo. The event was a weekend conference by an Internet broadcaster and had over 120,000 visitors.
[ via Channel News Asia ]