Yasukuni Shrine 2008
August 15, 2008 marks the 63rd anniversary of Japan's surrender to the Allied Forces in the Pacific War. Many Japanese people still visit Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo to commemorate the anniversary and to pay their respects to the war dead. Yasukuni Shrine was built in 1896 and enshrines about 2.5 million soldiers whose lives were given in service of the Imperial Japan and the divine Emperor.
Yasukuni Shrine, however, has been very controversial and sparked criticism from home as well as abroad. China, Korea, and Taiwan have all voiced criticism of the site because of its enshrinement of convicted World War II criminals, including twelve convicted and two suspected ‘Class A’ war criminals and its War Museum's provocative revisionism. Despite the fact that no Japanese Emperor has visited the Yasukuni Shrine since 1978. Japanese Cabinet Members' frequent visits are taken to represent the government's glorification of Japan's imperialist past.
There appears to be no resolution to the issues surrounding the Yasukuni shrine in the foreseeable future, nationalists and right wing extremists dominate the Shrine's grounds each anniversary and are allowed to voice their opinions without any restrictions. Although there are small skirmishes between security guards, extreme nationalists and anti-Yasukuni fractions each year, the conflict usually resolves itself into an organized disorder.
August 15th, 2008.