Japanese minister visits Yasukuni Shrine

Updated: 2013-04-20 17:33


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TOKYO - Japanese Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Yoshitaka Shindo visited the notorious war-linked Yasukuni Shrine Saturday, reported local media.

Shindo's visit to the shrine, which honors Japanese war criminals of the World War II (WWII), is the first case that made by a member of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet that launched last December.

"It was a private visit," Japan's Kyodo News Agency quoted the minister as saying, adding the minister said that it was not made in his capacity as a cabinet member.

Shindo's visit is only a day ahead of the shrine's spring festival, in which Abe said earlier that he will not participate.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Friday that cabinet members will decide whether or not they will visit the shrine.

Visits to the Yasukuni Shrine by Japanese leaders and lawmakers draw strong opposition from China and South Korea that suffered Japan's invasion in the WWII.

China and South Korea have urged many times that Japanese leaders should stop visits to the shrine and take a responsible attitude toward history.