Japanese Court Rules Premier's Visits to War Shrine Illegal
Experts said the ruling by the Osaka High Court probably would not force the Japanese prime minister to stop visiting the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japan's war dead, including those hanged for criminal conduct during World War II. But they called it a symbolic victory for critics here and elsewhere, who regard the visits as a measure of Japan's lack of contrition for wartime atrocities.
"This will strengthen Koizumi's opponents," said Hiroshi Nakanishi, a professor of international politics at Kyoto University. "More people will be encouraged to speak out against the visits."
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