The lower court ruled against the 254 Korean families who demanded Yasukuni remove the names of the Koreans, who served and were killed as soldiers and civilian employees of the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II, from its lists of enshrined war dead.
In the ruling presiding Judge Katsumi Chiba said that the decision was constitutional in all respects contained in the opinion.
“The decision is to be made by Yasukuni Shrine. It is not allowed to be made by this country,” he said.
Japan’s constitution guarantees freedom of religion and the separation of church and state.
The majority of the lawsuit came from the surviving members of Koreans who died while serving in the Imperial Japanese Army.
Hyonsuk Chung, an event planner in Tokyo, says, “The Koreans enshrined in Yasukuni died because they had been forced to go war. Even after their deaths, why do they have to be forced to rest there? None of the Koreans wanted to go war as Japanese soldiers.”
She added that the shrine should respect the Korean victims and their families’ wishes and religion.
“As Japan’s Constitution guarantees freedom of religion, it is apparent Shinto is a Japanese one and not a Korean one.”
Yasukuni Shrine is dedicated to the soldiers and others who died fighting on behalf of Japan’s emperor. There are currently more than 2.4 million enshrined men and women whose lives were dedicated to the service of Imperial Japan. On the grounds, there is also a war museum dedicated to World War II as well as statues honoring the mothers who made sacrifices during the war.