Eine Lektion in Geschichte für Koizumi

Wieder einmal brechen in China und Südkorea Proteste gegen den alljährlichen Besuch des japanischen Ministerpräsidenten Junichiro Koizumi beim Yasukuni-Schrein aus. Koizumis Beharren, den in Yasukuni bestatteten Kriegstoten, unter denen sich auch verurteilte Kriegsverbrecher aus dem Zweiten Weltkrieg befinden, seine Ehrerbietung zu erweisen, hat die Beziehungen Japans zu seinen Nachbarn über Jahre belastet. So weist der chinesische Präsident Hu Jintao fortgesetzt darauf hin, dass es kein Gipfeltreffen mit einem japanischen Ministerpräsidenten geben wird, der den Yasukuni-Schrein besucht, welcher von den meisten Chinesen als Verherrlichung der Aggression und des Kolonialismus Japans in der Vergangenheit betrachtet wird.

Sogar in Japan steht man Koizumi mancherorts zunehmend kritisch gegenüber. Obwohl die japanische Öffentlichkeit den chinesischen Protestausbrüchen zwar negativ gegenübersteht, zeigt eine jüngst durchgeführte Umfrage, dass über 70 % aller Japaner die gegenwärtigen japanisch-chinesischen Beziehungen als inakzeptabel einstufen. Immer weniger Menschen unterstützen Koizumis jährliche Wallfahrt zum Yasukuni-Schrein. Sieben ehemalige Ministerpräsidenten fordern einmütig, Koizumi möge von diesen Besuchen Abstand nehmen.

Doch Koizumi bleibt stur. Darüber hinaus hat auch der aussichtsreichste Nachfolgekandidat Koizumis, Regierungssprecher Shinzu Abe, öffentlich erklärt, dass er als Ministerpräsident diese Besuche beim Schrein beibehalten würde. Außenminister Taro Aso, ein weiterer möglicher Nachfolger Koizumis, bat den japanischen Kaiser, beim Yasukuni-Schrein zu beten.

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