August 20, 2012 by Water Wisdom
By MARTIN FACKLER and CHOE SANG-HUN August 16, 2012
MARTIN FACKLER, CHOE SANG-HUN 联合报道 2012年08月16日
TOKYO — Two Japanese cabinet members paid their respects at a Tokyo war shrine linked to Japan’s militaristic past on Wednesday. Their visits, the first by high-ranking officials in three years, coincided with a recent flare-up in tensions between Japanand its Asian neighbors over history and territory.
The officials — Jin Matsubara, the minister in charge of the issue of Japanese abductions by North Korea, and Yuichiro Hata, the transportation minister — visited the Yasukuni Shrine separately to observe the anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II. No other cabinet members have visited the shrine since the Democratic Party came to power in Japan in 2009, vowing to build closer ties in Asia.
参拜的两位官员是，负责处理朝鲜绑架日本国民事件的大臣松原仁(Jin Matsubara)，以及国土交通大臣羽田雄一郎(Yuichiro Hata)，两人各自前往靖国神社(Yasukuni Shrine) 进行参拜，以纪念日本在二战时的投降日。自从2009年民主党上台执政，并表示要加强与亚洲国家的联系以来，日本还没有任何内阁成员参拜过靖国神社。
The two officials, both conservatives, went to the shrine despite a request from Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda that they stay away. Japanese rightists defend such visits as an appropriate way to honor Japan’s war dead. But the shrine is seen by many in China and South Korea as a symbol of unrepentance in Japan over the country’s militarism in the early 20th century, when its armies marched brutally through Asia. The dead honored at the shrineinclude executed war criminals.
Mr. Matsubara said he visited the shrine as a private citizen. “I acted based on my own principles as a Japanese national,” he said.
There was no immediate reaction from South Korea or China, but the visits came at a sensitive time. Japan is locked in an increasingly emotional standoff with South Korea over the issue of compensation for women who were forced into prostitution by the Japanese military during World War II. It is also embroiled in heated disputes with China, South Korea and Russia over control of remote islands southwest, northwest and northeast of the principal Japanese islands.
On Wednesday, a vessel from Hong Kong entered waters around one cluster of disputed islands in the East China Sea to protest a plan by the Japanese government to nationalize the islands, which are owned by a private citizen. Russia said on Tuesday that it would send naval vessels to the Kurile Islands, the four southernmost of which are disputed, and the president of South Korea, Lee Myung-bak, made a surprise visit last Friday to a group of islets his country controls that are also claimed by Japan.
Martin Fackler reported from Tokyo, and Choe Sang-hun from Seoul, South Korea.
Martin Fackler在东京，Choe Sang-hun在韩国首尔报道。