Une leçon d'histoire pour Koizumi

Une fois de plus, la visite annuelle du Premier ministre japonais Junichiro Koizumi au sanctuaire de Yasukuni pour rendre hommage aux morts à la guerre déclenche une vague de protestations en Chine et en Corée du Sud, car parmi les morts de Yasukuni se trouvent des criminels de guerre de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale. Depuis des années, son insistance à faire ce pèlerinage nuit aux relations du Japon avec ses voisins. Le président chinois a déclaré à plusieurs reprises qu'il ne tiendrait pas un sommet avec un Premier ministre japonais qui va à Yasukuni, ce qui est considéré par la plupart des Chinois comme une glorification des agressions et du colonialisme japonais du passé.

Même au Japon, une partie de l'opinion est critique à l'égard de Koizumi. Si l'opinion publique réagit négativement à l'explosion de colère chinoise contre le Japon, selon un sondage récent, plus de 70% des Japonais estiment que l'état actuel des relations sino-japonaises est inacceptable. De plus en plus de Japonais ne sont pas favorables au pèlerinage annuel de Koizumu à Yasukuni et sept anciens Premiers ministres lui demandent conjointement de s'en abstenir.

Pourtant, Koizumi reste provocant. De plus, le directeur de cabinet Shinzu Abe, son successeur probable, a ouvertement déclaré qu'il continuerait comme lui à se rendre à Yasukuni. Le ministre des Affaires étrangères, Taro Aso, un autre successeur possible de Koizumi, a convié l'empereur à aller prier dans ce sanctuaire. L'ambiance est donc plutôt au pessimisme et la crise autour de Yasukuni devient plus aiguë. Mais le passé nous apporte également des éléments positifs, il y a des leçons à en tirer, y compris sur ce problème.

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