October 11, 2018
Tokyo- Kunio Kohori, chief priest of Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, is set to resign from the post, apparently taking responsibility for his reported remarks criticizing Emperor Akihito.
The Shinto shrine said Wednesday that the 68-year-old chief priest has expressed his intention to quit.
In a recent issue, the Shukan Post weekly magazine quoted Kohori as saying at a shrine meeting in June, "The more the Emperor goes on memorial trips for the war dead, the more Yasukuni Shrine goes away."
Kohori was also reported to have said, "The Emperor is trying to destroy Yasukuni Shrine."
A public relations official of the shrine admitted that Kohori made the remarks, saying, "A recording of his remarks using highly inappropriate language was leaked."
After the magazine report, Kohori visited the Imperial Household Agency to apologize and offer an intention to step down, according to the official.
Kohori's successor will be picked at a key meeting of the shrine on Oct. 26, the official said. Kohori became the chief priest of the war-related shrine on March 1 this year.
Emperor Hirohito, the father of Emperor Akihito and posthumously known as Emperor Showa, did not visit Yasukuni Shrine after Class-A World War II criminals were enshrined there alongside the war dead in 1978.
Emperor Akihito has never visited Yasukuni Shrine since his enthronement in 1989. Jiji Press
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