Koizumi's visit to Yasukuni shows his extreme irresponsibility

Shii Kazuo

Executive Committee Chair
Japanese Communist Party

August 15, 2006

Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro on the day marking the end of WWII visited Yasukuni Shrine just before stepping aside, without showing any reflection on his action causing serious stalemate in Japan's diplomacy. This attitude of not caring what will happen afterward exposed his irresponsibility regarding the country's foreign affairs. The Japanese Communist Party lodges a strong protest regarding his action.

Yasukuni Shrine is not just a facility for paying tribute to the war dead. It is an organization that makes it its mission to justify and glorify the past war of aggression. This fact is being pointed out both at home and abroad. Condoning Yasukuni Shrine visits by the highest officer in national politics means that the government officially endorses the shrine's political standpoint. This is an outrageous political stance in direct opposition to today's international order built on deep remorse over the war of aggression waged by Japan, Germany, and Italy. That is why the issue of Yasukuni Shrine goes well beyond the Japan-China or Japan-South Korea relations, and concern about Japan's diplomacy is growing throughout the world. Anyone who seriously takes the country's future is required to look squarely at this fact.

The prime minister has referred to his "public pledge" to justify his visit. This is nothing but the "pledge" to Yasukuni advocates who seek to make the argument that beautifies the war of aggression a "national consensus." It is unacceptable for the highest officer in national politics to place top priority on his loyalty to the "pledge" without hesitation and thereby undermine true national interests.

In addition, this argument that the visit to Yasukuni Shrine is to keep the "pledge" cntradicts what the prime minister himself repeatedly said as an evasive answer, "It is the matter of my personal beliefs."

For five years, the Liberal Democratic Party has failed to address Prime Minister Koizumi's political attitude that had led to a diplomatic deadlock. I must point out that the LDP's qualifications as a government party is in question.

No matter who will succeed the LDP president or be the next prime minister, the Japanese Communist Party demands the extraordinary misdirection in Japan's diplomacy be immediately corrected and that the prime minister’s Yasukuni visit be halted.     (end)

The Central Committee of the Japanese Communist Party
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