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.
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A visitor takes a picture of the Imperial Chrysanthemum crest on the main gate (Shinmon) of Yasukuni Shrine with his cell phone on August 15th, 2008.
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A man in a kimono dress pays a visit to Yasukuni Shrine on August 15th, 2008.
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Members of the Japanese Imperial Army reenactment band march through Yasukuni Shrine on August 15th, 2008.
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Yasukuni Shrine's Main Hall(Haiden) is reflected on the showcase of Ikebana, Japanese Art of flower arrangement, on August 15th, 2008.
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People pay their respects to the war dead at Yasukuni Shrine on August 15th, 2008.
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A young member of the right wing extremists argues with security officer over his reckless bicycle behavior in front of Yasukuni Shrine on August 15th. 2008.
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Noh Theater (Nogakudo) in Yasukuni Shrine on August 15th, 2008.
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Open display of Zero Fighter at Yasukuni Shrine's War Museum on August 15th, 2008.
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Members of the Right Wing nationalist group parade with banners of the National Anthem of Japan at Yasukuni Shrine on August 15th, 2008.
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A man holds a picture of Megumi Yokota, one of Japanese citizen abducted by North Korea in the late 1970s, at the Great Gate of Yasukuni Shrine on August 15, 2008, although it is nothing to do with the commemoration ceremony itself, Yasukuni Shrine has become a political battleground.
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A man impersonates the Japanese Imperial Army Captain at Yasukuni Shrine on August 15th, 2008.
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Bronze relief in Yasukuni Shrine, which commemorates the invasion of Tianjin castle in China by the Japanese imperial army for suppressing the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 on August 15th, 2008.
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The bronze statue of Masujiro Omura, the Father of the Modern Japanese Army, looks over Yasukuni Shrine on August 15th, 2008 . The statue was installed in 1893 and Japan's first western style sculpture.
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 bu...