Pressures in the East: when is self defence a step too far?

With China flexing its economic muscles, and Japan now starting to ramp up its military status, tension is rising in the region

25th October, 2015
Yuzaburo Yachigo, a Japanese military veteran of World War II, salutes while visiting the shrine Bloomberg

In the oppressive metropolis of Tokyo, the Yasukuni shrine is an oasis of calm. Constructed in 1869 in the traditional Japanese style, it lies at the end of a long, leafy pedestrian approach, the site dotted with the cherry trees so beloved of the city’s population.

The bridge which leads to the shrine takes visitors past the entrance to Tokyo’s Science Museum and National Archives. To access Yasukuni, in other words, it is necessary...

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