24 July 2006

Yasukuni Visitors

Japan, German, and Italy all to a greater or lesser degree have had to cope with the consequences of defeat in the Second World War, and the discrediting of the political systems that led them into the conflict. Not one of these countries has successfully solved the problem of how to integrate the past into today's politics, but perhaps the Japanese have had the most problems. It seems Emperor Hirohito, the only Axis head of state to survive the war, had qualms about visiting the Yasukuni shrine after 1978, not shared by the current Japanese prime minister, Koizumi Junichiro.

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