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PacNet #34 – Yasukuni: an American view

August 16, 2005

The Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo has been a source of controversy within Japan and between Japan and its Asian neighbors. According to the shrine’s website, “The Kami (deities) enshrined in Yasukuni Jinja are noble gods who offered their lives for the sake of Japan with the sincere hope for eternal peace in the same manner as His Imperial Majesty.”   Its sponsors compare the shrine to Arlington Cemetery and other sites where a nation’s war dead are commemorated. However, while Yasukuni was originally established by the Meiji emperor, it is no longer formally a government institution.