Group of lawmakers visit notorious war-linked Yasukuni shrine

Updated: 2015-04-22 10:38


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Group of lawmakers visit notorious war-linked Yasukuni shrine

A group of Japanese lawmakers visit the Yasukuni Shrine after they paid respect to war deads during the annual spring festival in Tokyo, Japan, April 22, 2015. [Photo/IC]

TOKYO -- A group of Japanese lawmakers from various parties visited the notorious Yasukuni Shrine Wednesday morning for the annual spring festival, local media reported.

Their visits came a day after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dedicated a "masakaki" tree offering to the shrine, which has drawn fire from South Korea and China.

"Japanese political leaders should realize that showing admiration and gratitude to such a shrine is tantamount to negating the premise under which Japan has returned to the international community," S.Korean Foreign Ministry spokesman Noh Kwang Il told journalists.

Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei also criticized Abe's sending of offering. "Abe must take concrete steps to honor his commitment to looking squarely at and reflecting on (Japan's) history of aggression," Hong Lei said at a regular press conference Tuesday.

The notorious Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japan's war dead including 14 Class-A convicted WWII criminals, is seen as a symbol of Japan's past militarism.