A grandson of Class A-war criminal and former Prime Minister Koki Hirota expressed opposition Thursday to Yasukuni Shrine's inclusion in the late 1970s of the late prime minister on the list of people honored there
There was no contact from Yasukuni in advance" of Hirota's enshrinement, said Kotaro Hirota, 67. "If asked, (I would) have rejected it," he added, in a rare move for a member of the family of a Class A-war criminal to voice objection to the enshrinement at the controversial Tokyo shrin
Among the 14 enshrined Class-A war criminals, Koki Hirota was the only civilian of the seven executed. He became prime minister shortly after the Feb. 26th Incident in 1936, a military rebellion in Tokyo in which several political figures were killed and the capital was seized.
Hirota left the post of prime minister about a year later due to increasing political intervention from the Japanese military, and served as foreign minister during the Sino-Japanese war.
During the Tokyo war criminal trials against prewar and wartime political and military leaders, some judges claimed Hirota was not guilty, but he was executed in 1948 along with wartime Prime Minister Gen. Hideki Tojo and others.
He said that the family temple is in Fukuoka Prefecture and his grandfather's grave is at a temple in Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture, where he goes to pay his respects.
He said Yasukuni Shrine is a place where "military personnel and war dead are honored" and that his grandfather was neither.kyodo