High court rejects appeal by S. Koreans over Yasukuni enshrinement

The Tokyo High Court on Wednesday rejected an appeal by a group of South Koreans calling for the removal of names from the list of those enshrined at the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo.

The plaintiffs are nine relatives of deceased servicemen and civilian employees who served Imperial Japanese forces during the colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula in 1910-1945, and a former civilian employee, 88, who is alive but enshrined at the Shinto shrine as a "spirit of war dead."

Upholding a ruling by the Tokyo District Court in July 2011, the high court said the plaintiffs argue their feelings have been hurt by the enshrinement but they need to "show tolerance of the freedom of religion of others."

Yasukuni enshrined the souls of the 10 Koreans in 1959.

The plaintiffs argued that the enshrinement followed the provision of information on war dead to the shrine by the Japanese government, without their consent and in violation of their personal rights as Koreans.

The shrine is seen by Japan's Asian neighbors as a symbol of its past militarism as it honors war criminals along with Japan's war dead.