The story of World War II according to Japan’s controversial war museum


On the 69th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II today, dozens of Japanese cabinet ministers and lawmakers wearing dark suits quietly paid their respects at Tokyo’s controversial Yasukuni Shrine, which honors many considered war criminals, as well as over two million other Japanese war dead.

South Korean officials and Chinese media criticized the visits—South Korean president Park Geun-hye said officials were only pushing Korea and Japan further apart, while Chinese media accused Tokyo of “reviving militarism.”

A group of lawmakers walk after offering prayers at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo August 15, 2014, to mark the 69th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War Two. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday sent a ritual offering to a Tokyo shrine to war dead but did not join cabinet ministers in a visit, seen as an effort to avoid further inflaming ties with China as he seeks a summit with Beijing. REUTERS/Yuya Shino Lawmakers visiting the Yasukuni shrine on Aug. 15th.

Members of nationalist movement "Ganbare Nippon" holding Japanese national flags gather under the huge Torii gate at the Yasukuni shrine while paying tribute to the war dead in Tokyo August 15, 2014, Members of nationalist movement “Ganbare Nippon” gather under the huge Torii gate at the Yasukuni shrine.

The visits to the shrine come at time when relations between Japan and its neighbors are strained. Over the past few months China has lodged a public relations war against Japan, releasing archived diaries of Japanese soldiers detailing violence and the torture of Chinese citizens. The Japanese government has recently approved a reinterpretation of its post-war pacifist constitution…

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