Yasukuni Shrine, a shinto shrine located in Tokyo, was created to honour Japan’s war dead throughout history. But controversially, the spirits of convicted war criminals are also enshrined there, including fourteen class A war criminals.

In the Japanese shinto religion, the souls venerated at shrines aren’t just remembered, but in a way worshipped, making the issue even more fraught. Any visits to the shrine by Japanese politicians result in anger from the government and citizens of their Asian neighbours, most notably China and Korea, countries who were victims of Japan’s militarism in the early 20th century.

Not just politicians, but any celebrities with an international following who visit the shrine also receive criticism from fans who feel betrayed.

The employees of Creatures Inc a development studio, are the latest ones to stoke this fire. The company is closely affiliated with Pokemon, having worked on video games and the trading card game.

On 7th January, they tweeted out photos of a company 'hatsumode' (first visit to a shrine in the new year) at Yasukuni. The text read,

'Creatures starts work from today. We visited Yasukuni Shrine. The managers and team leaders added their wishes to the wooden boards.'

Photos showed Creatures Inc's staff praying, writing wishes and taking selfies at the shrine.

As noted by many media outlets, their shrine choice was likely due to the proximity to their office rather than a political statement, but all the same they drew ire from Chinese and Korean Pokemon fans, upset to see one of the companies behind their favourite games seemingly ignoring the sensitive nature of the issue. Many commenters noted that as a global company with fans all over the world, they should take more care not to offend. Others were more fierce in their condemnation, calling the employees 'war criminal admirers'.

The controversial tweet has since been deleted but calls on the company to apologise are continuing online.

By - Jess.