Dear Editor,

In the 9 January issue of the Helsinki Times, the Chinese Ambassador to Finland Mr. Huang Xing writes critically about the recent visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. This article is no doubt part of the worldwide anti-Japanese campaign orchestrated by his head office in Beijing.

There is nothing new in his arguments. According to the Chinese view the aim of this or similar visits to the Yasukuni Shrine is only to destabilise the present situation in the Far East or even the post-war international order. Nothing can be further from the truth. The Japanese Prime Minister has every right and indeed the duty to pay homage to the soldiers who have died for their country. Such is the custom in every country and we in Finland can especially appreciate this aspect. These visits are of strictly religious nature and not directed towards anybody or any country. The true intentions of Prime Minister Abe can be read in his recent statement “Pledge for an everlasting peace”.

The Yasukuni Shrine is the abode not only of the souls of the 14 so called “Class A War Criminals” but also of 2.5 million ordinary soldiers who have died for their country in different wars. Moreover, as the teaching of history in the Ambassador’s home country is not free, he might not be aware of the fact that the Military Tribunal for the Far East which did the sentencing, is nowadays very much criticised as having been a sham tribunal, performed by the victors of WWII. The Tribunal was an instrument of revenge in which no neutral country was allowed to participate. In Finland we had the same experience through the Soviet orchestrated “War Guilt Tribunal”, which also was built on retroactive legislation. Those who committed conventional war crimes (according to the Hague Conventions), i.e. the so called class B/C war criminals, were tried and sentenced in separate trials in Japan and elsewhere.

Finally, would it not be appropriate to clean up one’s own backyard before starting crusades against other peaceful countries? China is currently intent of amassing for itself more territory in the East China Sea. Against this background one can truly wonder which country is bent on upsetting the peace in the Asian region?

Yours sincerely,

Ronny Rönnqvist