posted on Apr, 26 2005 @ 10:34 AM
A Tokyo court rejected a request to rule visits to the Yasukuni war shrine by Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi and Tokyo Governor Ishihara as
unconstitutional, and dismissed a lawsuit seeking damages for the same. The plaintiffs - more than 1,000 Japanese citizens and relatives of South
Korean war dead - claim the pilgrimages, which contributed to a recent Sino-Japanese diplomatic crisis, are in violation of the separation of religion
and state as mandated in the Japanese constitution.
Since taking office four years ago Tuesday, Koizumi has made an annual pilgrimage to the Shinto sanctuary dedicated to Japan's 2.5 million war dead
including 14 convicted top war criminals. Koizumi's visits to the shrine have infuriated Asian countries invaded by Japan, with China refusing any
visits by Koizumi.
Ishihara, a former novelist known for his hawkish remarks, visited the shrine in 2000 and 2001 on the August 15 anniversary of Japan's surrender in
World War II. "I regard the ruling as only obvious," Ishihara said after the decision.
"I visit Yasukuni shrine to pay respect and to mourn war dead as a Japanese individual. It is pointless to distinguish whether a visit is official or
private in nature and attempts to stop it are eccentric in themselves," Ishihara said.
"Visits to such a shrine by public figures such as Prime Minister Koizumi and Tokyo Governor Ishihara are not only unconstitutional ... but offend
Asian people hurt by Japanese colonialization and invasion," the plaintiffs in the latest case said in a statement before the ruling.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
This is not the first time that this type of lawsuit have been brought before a Japanese court. Perhaps the plaintiffs anticipated a more favourable
ruling in light of the recent events in China. Unfortunately, they were disappointed.
Governor Ishihara's comments show a special kind of ignorance for a man in his position. Every statesman with two functioning brain cells and an
ounce of decency realizes that in all actions they are the representatives of the entire nation; indeed, that is the very definition of the term
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[edit on 2005/4/26 by wecomeinpeace]