JAPAN WAR-END ANNIVERSARY 2009
15 images Created 15 Aug 2009
Aug. 15 marks the anniversary of Japan's surrender in the Pacific War. A number of commemorative events are held, the most prominent of which takes place at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. Hundreds of thousands of people make the pilgrimage to the controversial shrine, including nationalists and right-wing groups dressed in military attire. The shrine's "Symbolic Registry of Divinities" lists 2.46 million names of people who served Imperial Japan, the majority of whom lost their lives during wartime service. Among them are 14 convicted World War II war criminals, including war-time leader General Hideki Tojo and visits here by political leaders are often condemned by China and South Korea as tacit approval of those leader's wartime endeavors. Yasukuni Shrine is often referred to as "the soul of Japan,"