Sunday, August 15, 2010

Japanese PM avoids Yasukuni Shrine and "apologizes"

For the first time, Japan's prime minister decided not to visit the Yasukuni shrine on the anniversary of Japan's surrender.  The shrine honors and respects the war dead, including about a dozen war criminals.  This has always been a source of tension between Japan on one side and Korea and China on the other.

This is a pretty big deal, especially for East Asians.  But of course, it had to take a non-LDP leader to make the bold and unpopular decision.  PM Kan's "apology" was pretty strong and sincere as well:

"We caused great damage and suffering to many nations during the war, especially to the people of Asia," Kan told a crowd of about 6,000 at an annual memorial service for the war dead at Budokan hall in Tokyo.
"We feel a deep regret, and we offer our sincere feelings of condolence to those who suffered and their families," he said. "We renew our promise to never wage war, and we promise to do our utmost to achieve eternal world peace and to never repeat again the mistake of war."  Source.

But leave it up to Le Pen and his compatriots to stir things up:

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