THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
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.