Japanese politicians’ visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, the gigantic middle-finger to Asia which honors top war criminals from the 1930’s and 40’s, are beloved controversy-fodder for Chinese op-ed writers and teeming hordes alike. Japanese media is reporting that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will likely skip the government’s upcoming field-trip to the shrine on August 15th, which gives hope that he might not be a complete nationalist–revisionist-asshole. Maybe just 80%.
China Daily, ever encouraging of those who pass on the Yasukuni visit, reports:
Despite Abe’s personal enthusiasm for visiting the shrine, as shown in many of his previous statements, Japan’s media say that this time he is likely to skip the visit on Aug 15. […]
Abe’s decision to stay away from the shrine could be seen as part of his efforts to avoid further tensions with Beijing and Seoul, which were victims of Japan’s wartime aggression, two Japanese government sources were quoted by AFP as saying. […]
“Abe’s approach to issues like the so-called ‘comfort women’ – sex slaves from the World War II era, history textbooks, visits to the Yasukuni Shrine that honors Japan’s war dead will be closely monitored by Japan’s neighbors as well as by the United States,” it said.
Although Abe himself is predicted to skip the visit, other members of his government will likely go to the shrine. Afterwards they will, presumably, defecate on various East Asian flags and high-five while writing revisionist history textbooks.