Once again, a Japanese Prime Minister, this time Shinzo Abe, deeply offended Ally and Neighbor, South Korea, as well as perhaps its Principal Adversary, China, by visiting the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japan’s War Dead. The Shrine includes several soldiers that were executed by the War Crimes Tribunal, following World War II. The Japanese Army committed many atrocities in both (then) Korea and China. In the Shinto Religion, all sins are thought to have been absolved in Death–even Execution for War Crimes.
These atrocities are still an extremely sore point to all Chinese and Koreans. Oddly enough, American Soldiers and Sailors have come together with their former Japanese Enemies and honored the War Dead–both at Pearl Harbor and in Japan. Likewise, there have been similar “reunions”, if I can really use that word, after the War in Vietnam, as well.
The linked article from the NY Times goes into more detail on this issue, linked as follows, http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/27/world/asia/japanese-premier-visits-contentious-war-shrine.html?pagewanted=print. But, once again, it would be impossible for most Americans to comprehend the mentality of certain Asian Peoples–as well as the extent of the Atrocities, to include: mass deaths; rapes; and forced slavery (even forcibly taking Women back to Japan). Unfortunately, this has happened time and again during various Japanese Administrations.
This just makes the Diplomatic Side of leading the Southeast Asian Allies in negotiating with China more difficult, perhaps, since Secretary John Kerry and Chuck Hagel will be spending more time refereeing, rather than negotiating for feasible settlements of the various issues.