Japan arrests Chinese man over Yasukuni Shrine graffiti incident, 2 others wanted

A Chinese national living in Japan was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly conspiring with two others to spray-paint the word “toilet” in English on a stone pillar at the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo earlier this year, police said.

Jiang Zhuojun, 29, is suspected of purchasing the spray paint and playing other roles to vandalise the pillar engraved with the shrine’s name near the entrance.

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s Public Security Bureau issued arrest warrants for two other Chinese nationals, Dong Guangming, 36, and Xu Laiyu, 25, placing them on wanted lists.

The three allegedly vandalised the pillar at around 9:55pm on May 31.

Dong and Xu left Japan for China on June 1, but a video was posted on Chinese social media showing a man appearing to urinate on the stone pillar before spray-painting the word “toilet” in red.

A still from a video that circulated on Chinese social media shows an unidentified man next to the word “toilet” in graffiti on Japan’s Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. Photo: X/Ek_aike

According to the bureau, the damage is estimated at 4.2 million yen (US$26,000), with Dong suspected of being the perpetrator and Xu alleged to have filmed the act.

The police declined to disclose whether Jiang has admitted to the allegations.

Yasukuni has been a source of diplomatic friction with China and other Asian countries as Japan’s wartime leaders, convicted as war criminals in a post-World War II international tribunal, are among the more than 2.4 million war dead honoured at the shrine.

Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa said at a press conference last month that the Japanese government had expressed its concerns about the actions to the Chinese government through diplomatic routes.



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