- Title: JAPAN: JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER KOIZUMI VISITS CHIDORIGAFUCHI WAR SHRINE IN TOKYO.
- Date: 30th May 2005
- Summary: (BN10) TOKYO, JAPAN (MAY 30, 2005) (REUTERS) 1. GV/CU/GV: CHIDORIGAFUCHI UNDER THE RAIN; JAPANESE FLAG UNDER THE RAIN; ENTRANCE TO THE WAR MEMORIAL; TENTS (4 SHOTS) 0.22 2. CU/ZOOM OUT/GV: JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER JUNICHIRO KOIZUMI SEATED UNDER A TENT, GETS UP AND TAKES AN UMBRELLA 0.38 3. MCU; CROWDS AT THE CEREMONY 0.43 4. CU/PAN/GV: KOIZUMI WALKING THROUGH THE RAIN (2 SHOTS) 0.53 5. GV/PAN/LV: KOIZUMI OFFERING A FLOWER TO THE TOMB OF THE FALLEN SOLDIERS (2 SHOTS) 1.13 6. CU/ZOOM OUT/GV/PAN: KOIZUMI LEAVING 1.31 7. GV: HEALTH MINISTER HIDEHISA OTSUJI PREPARING TO SPEAK 1.38 8. (SOUNDBITE)(Japanese) OTSUJI SAYING: "On the occasion of this ceremony, I think deeply of the war dead who became the foundation for peace and prosperity of our country of today, and express my condolences. In the meantime, I pledge to make efforts to pass on to the next generation many lessons learned from the war in order to ensure eternal peace." 2.05 9. CU/GV: MORE OF FLOWERS; WAR VETERANS SEATED; TOMB UNDER THE RAIN (3 SHOTS) 2.27 (BN10) TOKYO, JAPAN (MAY 30, 2005)(TV TOKYO - NO ACCESS JAPAN/CLEARED FOR INTERNET ACCESS/SEE ABOVE FOR FURTHER RESTRICTIONS) 10. (SOUNDBITE)(Japanese) KOIZUMI SAYING: "Whenever I mourn the war dead, whether or not it is at the Yasukuni Shrine, I carry it out solemnly and with respect." 2.52 (BN10) TOKYO, JAPAN (FILE) (REUTERS) 11. GV/MV/PAN: KOIZUMI WALKING UP THE STAIRS OF YASUKUNI SHRINE; KOIZUMI WALKING THROUGH THE YASUKUNI SHRINE (3 SHOTS) 3.32 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 14th June 2005 13:00
- Location: TOKYO, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Reuters ID: LVA6FX5LSPKEDNH70LE71N25RRUO
- Story Text: Japanese Prime minister visits Chidorigafuchi, a war
memorial often cited as the alternative to the the controversial
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, whose visits to a
Shinto shrine for war dead have sparked a bitter row with
China, joined in a tribute to fallen soldiers on Monday
(May 30, 2005) at Japan's tomb of the unknown soldier.
As heavy rain fell, Koizumi stood in silence with
Japanese politicians and foreign diplomats as the ashes of
300 soldiers were added to those symbolising some 350,000
Japanese soldiers who died in World War Two.
Chidorigafuchi, an austere, non-denominational memorial
near the Imperial Palace, honour's Japan's unidentified war
dead whose remains are symbolically placed in a gold-plated
urn inside a wooden coffin housed in a hexagonal pavilion.
It stands in sharp contrast to the nearby Yasukuni
Shinto shrine, once a symbol of wartime nationalism and now
a site where war criminals convicted by a 1948 Allied
tribunal are honoured with Japan's 2.5 million war dead.
Koizumi has visited Yasukuni each year since taking
office in 2001 and last went there in January 2004.
Some Japanese have suggested prime ministers could honour war dead
without angering China and other Asian
neighbours that suffered under Japan's wartime occupation
by paying their respects at Chidorigafuchi rather than at
"On the occasion of this ceremony, I think deeply of
the war dead who became the foundation for peace and
prosperity of our country of today, and express my
condolences," Health Minister Hidehisa Otsuji said in an
address at Monday's ceremony.
"In the meantime, I pledge to make efforts to pass on
to the next generation many lessons learned from the war in
order to ensure eternal peace."
Koizumi, a member of the royal family and foreign
diplomats each placed a chrysanthemum on a table set before
the memorial's coffin to music from a band of Imperial
The latest remains came mainly from Southeast Asia and
Pacific islands including Iwo Jima, where U.S. forces
defeated the Japanese in 1945 in a fierce battle that
helped turn the tide of World War Two.
Ceremonies are performed at Chidorigafuchi each May and
the prime minister sometimes attends with other cabinet
ministers -- without prompting complaints from other Asian
Yasukuni has long been the focus of controversy, in
part because Shinto priests in 1978 added 14 "Class A" war
criminals, leaders including wartime prime minister
Hideki Tojo, to the lists of those worshipped as deities
at the shrine.
No remains are interred at the shrine.
Koizumi insists there is no difference to his intent to
pray for the war dear whether in Chidorigafuchi or in
"Whenever I mourn the war dead, whether or not it is at
the Yasukuni Shrine, I carry it out solemnly and with
respect," he told reporters later back at his residence.
Sixty years after Japan's defeat in World War Two,
ordinary Japanese as well as politicians remain divided
about official visits to Yasukuni as well as how to view
the nation's past.
Nearly three out of every five Japanese who responded
to a poll published by Kyodo news agency on Saturday (May
28) said they believed Koizumi should not visit Yasukuni
Koizumi has repeatedly said he goes to the Yasukuni
Shrine to pay his respects to the dead and to vow that
Japan would never again wage war. He has not yet said when
he will visit the shrine again.
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