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   Home-Specials-60th Anniversary of War Against Japanese Aggression-Opinions
Most Japanese want alternative war memorial
Latest Updated by 2005-07-19 15:55:20

Almost two thirds of Japanese favour building a new war memorial as an alternative to Tokyo's Yasukuni shrine, criticised as a symbol of the country's past militarism, a newspaper poll said on Tuesday.

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]

About 63 percent of respondents to the Mainichi Shimbun poll said the government should build a new secular memorial to the war dead, while only 28 percent opposed the idea, the paper said.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's annual visits to Yasukuni have sparked anger in China and North and South Korea, where many suffered under Japanese colonial rule before and during World War Two.

A secular memorial would likely be less offensive to Japan's Asian neighbours, but is opposed by many Japanese veterans and relatives of those who died in the war.

About 51 percent of respondents to the poll said they opposed Koizumi's visits to the war shrine, while 39 percent supported them. In a similar poll in December last year, 46 percent supported the visits and 41 percent opposed them.

Koizumi has said he worships at Yasukuni to honour the war dead and pray for peace, but some Asian countries are angry that Class A war criminals are among those honoured at the shrine.

The Mainichi poll was carried out on July 16 and 17.

Editor: Yan

 
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By: Source:China Daily Website
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