Japan is commemorating the end of World War Two 64 years ago, tens of thousands of Japanese visiting the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. The name of the shrine dedicated to the nation’s war dead, controversially including convicted war criminals, means ‘peaceful country’ in Japanese.
Among those at the shrine are politicians, which some Japanese question as cynical. In the opinion of a businessman interviewed outside, “It’s about more votes in the end of the month’s election. I find it distasteful that they use the shrine and this day as a political card.” Official visits to Yasukuni tend to deeply upset Japan’s neighbours who suffered terribly under its old flag. Yet the prime minister and emperor took part in a ceremony in which both, on Japan’s behalf, expressed remorse.