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Shrine's claim on war criminals fallacious
Updated: 2005-06-26 09:26

The notorious Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on Saturday made fallacious claim that the 14 World War II Class-A war criminals it enshrines are no longer war criminals in Japan.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (2nd L) follows a Shinto priest, dressed in a white and yellow robe, on a surprise visit to the controversial Yasukuni shrine that prompted angry reaction from China and South Korea.  [AFP]
According to a written statement of the shrine in response to the interview of Tokyo News, the Yasukuni Shrine doubted the just sentence on the war criminals by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) after the WWII, saying the IMTFE sentence is not unconditional correct.

"Japan has revised related laws to grant pension to families of those convicted war criminals as well as the ordinary war dead, both are called the dead of official duty," the shrine claimed.

"In this term, the war criminals is no longer regarded as criminals in Japan because the government never grants pensions to criminals."

Yasukuni also rejected the call at home and abroad to establish a new national memorial to separate enshrinement of the Class-A war criminals from the ordinary war dead in the shrine, urging Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to continue his Yasukuni visits.

Many Asian countries have strongly protested Japanese leaders' visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors the Class-A war criminals responsible for Japan's aggression war against its Asianneighbors.

Koizumi has paid annual visits to the shrine since he took office in 2001.

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