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Intimate RivalsJapanese Domestic Politics and a Rising China$
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Sheila Smith

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231167888

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231167888.001.0001

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Japan’s Imperial Veterans

Japan’s Imperial Veterans

(p.57) 3 Japan’s Imperial Veterans
Intimate Rivals

Sheila A. Smith

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses the controversies surrounding the Yasukuni Shrine. Firstly, was the frustration among Japan's conservatives with what many saw as Chinese intervention in the effort to legitimize the shrine; secondly, was the inclusion in the Yasukuni Shrine of those deemed class-A war criminals during the Tokyo War Crimes Tribunals; and, finally, was the unresolved question in Japan about just what kind of state support ought to be given to Japan's veterans and their families. The Yasukuni Shrine was closely associated with the calculus of Japan's war responsibility, and its worst crisis of identity, the inclusion of those class-A war criminals in the late 1970s, coincided with Japan's debate over normalizing its relations with China. By the twenty-first century, however, the Yasukuni Shrine was no longer simply a place to honor Japan's war dead, but a site for rejecting foreign criticism of its history in the twentieth century.

Keywords:   Yasukuni Shrine, Chinese intervention, class-A war criminals, Tokyo War Crimes Tribunals, Japan's veterans, state support, twentieth century, Japan's war responsibility

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