Japanese Prime Minister visits controversial war shrine

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, followed by a security police officer, left, walks at Yasukuni Shrine to pay respect for the war dead, in Tokyo Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013. Abe visited Yasukuni war shrine in a move sure to infuriate China and South Korea. The visit to the shrine, which honors 2.5 million war dead including convicted class A war criminals, appears to be a departure from Abe’s “pragmatic” approach to foreign policy, in which he tried to avoid alienating neighboring countries. It was the first visit by a sitting prime minister since Junichiro Koizumi went to mark the end of World War II in 2006. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Shizuo Kambayashi/AP

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (right), followed by a security officer, visits Yasukuni Shrine to pay respect for the war dead in Tokyo.

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Yasukuni war shrine Thursday in a move sure to infuriate China and South Korea.

Visits to Yasukuni by Japanese politicians have long been a point of friction with China and South Korea, because of Japan’s brutal aggression during World War II.

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The visit to the shrine, which honors 2.5 million war dead including convicted war criminals, appears to be a departure from Abe’s “pragmatic” approach to foreign policy, in which he tried to avoid alienating neighboring countries.

It was the first visit by a sitting prime minister since Junichiro Koizumi went to mark the end of World War II in 2006.

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Adding to the unease of Japan’s neighbors is Abe’s support for revising Japan’s pacifist constitution and expanding the military to counter rising tensions over a cluster of islands in the East China Sea claimed by both Japan and China.


Nation / World – NY Daily News

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