'Kill all Wuhan residents': Graffiti at Japan's Yasukuni war shrine says

The Yasukuni Shrine is seen by China and South Korea as the symbols of Japan's militaristic past

Graffiti calling for the killing of Wuhan residents has appeared on the premises of Japan's famous war shrine Yasukuni. The graffiti, scribbled in Japanese, includes the threat to "kill all" of the Chinese city's residents, the Japan Times reported on Tuesday. The report adds that the wall scribbling was provoked by the Chinese city's role in the global spread of coronavirus.

The Yasukuni Shrine is seen by China and South Korea as the symbols of Japan's militaristic past. The Japanese honour their war dead at the controversial shrine but China and South Korea are uneasy over the fact that 14 leaders convicted as war criminals by an allied tribunal are also honoured at the shrine along with the war dead.

The graffiti was discovered on Monday, the Japan Times reported. It appeared on the walls of the male restroom at the shrine. The police are investigating the incident, the report said.

Coronavirus status as of 3 May, 2020
Coronavirus status as of 3 May, 2020 GISAID

Every visit by a Japanese prime minister to the war shrine has been controversial in the past. China, which has repeatedly denounced Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visits to Yasukuni, says Japan should make a clean break from militarism and gain trust from its neighbors and the international community with real action.

The Sino-Japanese ties have weakened in the aftermath of the coronavirus outbreak, which originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of the last year. Besides aligning with the United States in putting the blame on China for the virus contagion, Japan has also offered a massive stimulus package for industries to shift manufacturing out of China.

Shinzo Abe
Viral image of Shinzo Abe Twitter grab

Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun wrote that China should be held accountable for the coronavirus pandemic. The influential daily warned that "parties which refused to apologise will shoot themselves in the foot."

According to worldometer, Japan has more than 15,000 cases of Covid-19, while 536 people have died from the infection. The Japanese government has decided to extend the nationwide state of emergency to the end of May even as the initial month-long emergency was slated to end. Tokyo believes that the battle against the coronavirus pandemic will be lengthier than expected, Agence France-Presse reported.

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