Veteran Japanese Politician Warns of Rising Nationalism
Wednesday, August 30, 2006 Posted: 12:43 PM JST
(AFP) - A veteran Japanese politician whose home was torched in a suspected arson attack by a right-wing activist said he feared the nation was leaning towards a more aggressive form of nationalism. "One type of nationalism in Japan has an antagonistic or reactionary nature, which tends to be hostile towards neighboring nations," said Koichi Kato. "Many Japanese tend to lean towards this nationalism. This is a very dangerous situation," he told reporters at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan.
The 67-year-old former secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party is an outspoken critic of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits to a war shrine honoring about 2.5 million war dead including top war criminals. His house burned down hours after Koizumi's most recent visit to the Yasukuni Shrine on the emotionally charged August 15 anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II. Read article
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