Japan PM visits Yasukuni Shrine

Updated: 2013-12-26 10:07


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Japan PM visits Yasukuni Shrine
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C) is led by a Shinto priest as he visits Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo December 26, 2013. Abe visited Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine for war dead on Thursday, in a move likely to anger Asian neighbour China and South Korea. [Photo/Agencies]

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the war-linked Yasukuni shrine on Thursday despite strong opposition from neighboring countries.

It is the first time in seven years that a sitting Japanese prime minister visited the notorious shrine. Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi paid a visit in August 2006.

The visit by Abe, on the day marking his first anniversary after resuming office, triggered strong opposition from neighboring countries, such as China and South Korea, who suffered a lot due to Japan's brutal aggression into the two countries during the World War II.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Thursday immediately after Abe's Yasukuni worshipping that China strongly condemned the Japanese leader's wrongdoing.

Qin said the visit would deeply hurt the feelings of Asian war victims.

The shrine was a symbol of Japan's wartime militarism as 14 class-A war criminals were enshrined there, who were convicted by an Allied tribunal after the war.

Abe's provocative move would drag Japan's already-fragile relations with neighboring countries into an abyss, and damage the efforts by the international community to dispel the shadow of militarism.

Repeated visits to the notorious shrine by Japanese ministers and lawmakers have become a major obstacle for Japan to mend its ties with China and South Korea.

China has urged Japan to properly deal with the issues surrounding the shrine and reflect on its history of aggression..

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