Jason Carter: Objecting voices were raised in China, both Koreas and even Japan when Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited a Shinto shrine honoring Ally-convicted war criminals. While China fears Koizumi’s homage to an imperial past will strain diplomacy over hot-button-issues like oil-drilling rights in the East China Sea, a Reuters article in The New York Times reports that many Japanese concerned with the welfare of international business decry the prime minister’s fifth visit to the shrine since 2001 as a violation of the constitutional provision of separation of church and state. The article’s lack of further development of this topic signifies an expected familiarity with the controversy among readers, perhaps an easy assumption to make, given the Intelligent Design trial in Dover, Pennsylvania, and the highly publicized Iraqi constitutional effort. But it is possible that this iconographic marriage of religion and war is responsible for the widespread perception of Koizumi as a strong leader. Perhaps our Constitution isn’t the only example Japan is following.