Lighting Peace Candles to the Darkness of Yasukuni 2009

“Lighting Peace Candles to the Darkness of Yasukuni” Candle Action Committee
Asking for Support and Contribution to
“Lighting Peace Candles to the Darkness of Yasukuni 2009”
―Looking at Yasukuni in the eyes of East Asia

May, 2009

Dear friends,

Thank you for your continuous support for the Anti-Yasukuni Joint Action. Three years have already passed since we staged the “Lighting Peace Candles to the Darkness of Yasukuni” in the summer of 2006 against then Prime Minster Koizumi’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine on August 15. Since 2006 the joint action has continuously developed each year, connecting four areas of East Asia: Korea, Taiwan, Okinawa and Japan (Yamato); New York Actions in November 2007, followed by Yasukuni meeting at the Global Article 9 Conference to Abolish War in May 2008 and “Yasukuni・War・Poverty 2008” in August 2008.

The situation of the Yasukuni Shrine has seemingly made a turnaround after the year 2006. Both of the prime ministers who took office after Koizumi, Abe and Fukuda, could not officially pay a visit to the shrine. And Prime Minister Aso is most likely not to visit the shrine either this August.
Aso, however, dedicated Masakaki (ritual wood) at the annual spring festival of Yasukuni called Shunki Reitaisai in April. This has no less significance in indicating that Yasukuni is still an indispensable agenda for the power which is dispatching the Self Defense Force overseas on a regular basis, and even trying to legitimize it permanently. For the people currently in power, the ‘war dead’ is something they need to take into account.

In other words, Yasukuni has become a vital item for the authorities of this nation, which comes hand in hand with the ‘justification’ of the past war, preparing the nation for its capability to conduct a war and mobilize the people. Because of this progressive nature of Yasukuni, it is even now a thorn that pricks deeply the hearts of people in countries once invaded. We see the deaths that were the result of enforcement turned into “sacred” deaths, and the dead that deserve compensation being enshrined as souls that served the Emperor of Japan, through which act war of invasion is glorified as a sacred war, and the aggressor nation is decriminalized. It is the task of the people to shake up such structures and remove themselves. In order to build peace in East Asia, we need to reconcile the differences in perception of the past and compensate for past atrocities. Resolution of the Yasukuni issue is vital to that end.

And last but not least: Yasukuni has deprived each bereaved family of the freedom to mourn in one’s own religious or cultural way. This is an absurd violation of the right to self-determination, one of the most precious human rights in today’s world. And we cannot overlook the historical perception of Yasukuni that affirms Japan’s act of spiritual and cultural deprivation during colonial rule.

This summer, to address these issues and open our vision to overcome our challenges, we will hold “Lighting Peace Candles to the Darkness of Yasukuni 2009”, which will be followed by a currently-planned anti-Yasukuni campaign in Germany next year.

We ask you for your support and contribution to the 2009 Anti-Yasukuni Joint Action.

Best Regards,
UCHIDA Masatoshi (Attorney)
Chief of Secretariat

Joint Representative :
IMAMURA Tsuguo, UCHIDA Masatoshi, KINJO Minoru, SHOJI Tsutomu, SUGAWARA Tatsunori, SUZUKI Reiko, ZUSHI Minoru, SUN Sung, TAKEDA Takao, NIIKURA Osamu, HARIU Ichiro, KAO CHIN Su-mei,
蕭惠美、史亞山、陳政宗、LEE Hae-Hak, 李碩兌、LEE Hee-Ja


【1】 Lighting Peace Candles to the Darkness of YASUKUNI 2009
―Looking at Yasukuni Shrine in the Eyes of East Asia
(1) Symposium Aug. 7 (Fri), 2009
 Time: 6:30 pm~8:30 pm (open door at 6pm)
 Venue: Nihon Bengoshi Kaikan Creo (Japan Attorney Hall Creo)
 Guest Speaker
Christoph Freudenberg (The President of Korea Verband)
 Pannel Speakers:
a. Enshrinement of Koreans in Yasukuni Shrine and its Deceit
NAM Sang-Ku (Researcher at Northeast Asian History Foundation, Korea)
b. Okinawa War and Yasukuni Enshrinement of Victimized Citizens
ISHIHARA Masaie (Professor at Okinawa International University)
c. Japanese Imperialist Invasion of Taiwan and Enshrinement of Aboriginal
KAO CHIN Su-mei (member of Legislative Yuan of Taiwan)
d. Comparison of Commemoration of the War Dead between Japan and Germany
Stefan Zabel (Ph.D. student at Department of Advanced Social & International studies, University of Tokyo)

(2) Concert & Testimonial of Victims Aug.8 (Sat), 2009
 Time: 2 pm~6pm (open door at 1:30pm)
 Venue: Ueno Park Suijo Ongakudo (Ueno Park Music Hall)
7-8 minute walk from the Ueno Station
 Concert:
 Taiwan Aboriginal Music Group,
 KWO Hae-Hyo & SONG Pyon-Hi (Korea)
 Others
 Guest Speaker
Christoph Freudenberg (The President of Korea Verband)
 Testimonials: The bereaved of Korea, Taiwan, Okinawa and Japan

(3) Candle Walk Aug.8 (Sat.), 2009
 Time: 7pm~ (following the concert)
 Route: Ueno Park to Akihabara (presumptive)

【2】Preliminary Event July 25 (Sat) & 26 (Sun), 2009
“Lighting Peace Candles to the Darkness of YASUKUNI” Film Festival
 Time:
1pm~9pm, July 25 (Sat)
1pm~5pm, July 26 (Sun)
 Venue: Kinroufukushi-kaikan (community hall), Minato ward
 Screening: “Yasukuni” ☆ “Annyong・Sayonara” ☆ “Shusso no Uta”
“Gakutoshutsujin” and others with some talks
 Contribution: 1,000 yen for the whole two days
 Event Home page:

“Lighting Peace Candles to the darkness of Yasukuni”
Candle Action Committee