Thursday, May 31, 2007

Taiwan's former president might visit Yasukuni


Taiwan's former president, Lee Tenghui, looked set to incur the wrath of China by saying he hopes to visit Yasukuni Shrine during a visit to Japan that started Wednesday.

Lee said he wanted to visit the war-related shrine because his elder brother is memorialized there. The brother was killed in World War II while fighting for Japan. Taiwan at the time was a Japanese colony.

"I don't know if I have time to pay a visit," Lee told Japanese reporters aboard the flight from Taipei to Tokyo. "But because my brother is enshrined there, I would be sorry if I cannot make it as a brother."

Lee visited Japan in 2001 and 2004, but Wednesday's visit to Tokyo is his first to the capital in 22 years. "I was surprised to find that Tokyo Bay has become so clear," Lee said at the capital's Odaiba waterfront district.

Lee, 84, said his visit to Japan was "not for political activities," which would antagonize Beijing. He has no plans to meet with politicians here during his stay through June 9.(IHT/Asahi: May 31,2007)asahi

His right to visit Yasukuni should be protected.
Not that I support Yasukuni nor am a I believer in shinto; I am just a believer in liberal democracy.
It is quite easy; any people have the right to faith. the state must not interfere with it, rather it should protect the people's right to faith.

Some people complain:
Is this the way Abe satisfies the mad dogs of the Japanese right, by having the former president of Taiwan do a Yasukuni sanpai in his stead?

I also hate the mad dog of Japanese rightist and leftist;for that matter, I hate the mad dog of American rightist and leftist.

The human basic right like the right to faith overrides the policy. The utility must give way to the human fundamental right. Whether the rightist or the leftist support it have little to do with the issue. You don't like Shinto, Yasukuni, Islam, that's okay. But you can not interfere it.

When it comes to the issue of Yasukuni, some liberals suddenly stop thinking on the principle. I don't understand why.


MTC said...

Zero -

I am not complaining about Lee's potential visit. I am only noting that Prime Minister Abe seems to be playing a dangerous game of hewing as close to the line as possible on the unwritten pledge to not do a Yasukuni sanpai. Abe should leave himself some space for error in his relations with the Chinese, rather than play a winking game with his most rabid supporters.

zero said...

Thank you for the comment.
Did Abe ask Lee to visit Yasukuni?
If Abe does not let Lee visit Yasukuni, does that mean he keep the the pledge to not do a Yasukuni sanpai?

MTC said...

Zero -

Prime Minister Abe could have asked Lee Teng-hui to not visit Yasukuni. As former official of a rebel government upon the island of Taiwan, Lee can only visit Japan upon the forebearance of Ministry of Foreign Affairs--which has to turn around and explain to the Chinese government the reason for Lee's presence on Japanese soil.

Lee's Yasukuni sanpai is a provocative act on a whole host of levels. The warming up of sino-Japanese political relations is so new. Why jeapordize it? Was not Lee's acceptance of the first "Goto Shimpei Award" insulting enough?

Anonymous said...

Thanks mtc
I don't think it is legitimate for China to interfere with any person visiting any place in Japan. What is at stake is right to travel, faith, and thought. Warming up of sino-Japanese political relation by yeilding to irrational demand of China must give way to the Lee's right. It is a matter of principle, as Ronald Dworkin would say. That is what China has to learn:she has to learn to respect individual human right.
And if Lee's right is legitimate, Abe should not interfere with his freedom to them.
Why do you think it is legitimate for Lee's right to faith to be violated because China does not like it?
Suppose the majority of the cabinet
were Christians, and they know Japanese Christian suffered because
they were forced to become Buddhist.They don't like a Buddhist temple. Is the government justified in stopping a Japanese Buddhist from visiting a temple because they don't like it?