Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Japanese lawmakers make mass visit to Yasukuni Shrine

Scores of Japanese lawmakers visited the controversial Yasukuni Shrine on Tuesday, two weeks before Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to meet with his Chinese and South Korean counterparts for trilateral talks.

The group of 73 politicians and 96 representatives of other lawmakers went to the shrine on Tuesday to mark the autumn festival, which is traditionally a time to honor the dead.

The Tokyo shrine honors millions of Japan's war dead, including several senior military and political figures convicted of war crimes. The controversial site has been blasted by China and Korea as a symbol of Tokyo's militarist past.

A military museum in the shrine compound tends to portray Japan as a victim of US aggression in World War II and makes scant reference to the extreme brutality of invading imperial­ troops' advance across Asia.

Visits to the shrine by senior Japanese politicians have routinely drawn angry reactions from ­Beijing and Seoul, including a comment by a South Korean foreign ministry spokesperson on Tuesday that the ­latest trip was tantamount to "­glorifying Japan's forcible colonization and war of aggression."

Katsunobu Kato, appointed earlier this month as minister in charge of a number of newly created programs aimed at boosting employment, also made a visit to the shrine in the afternoon, local media said.

The mass visit came after Minister of Justice Mitsuhide Iwaki and Sanae Takaichi, Japan's minister of internal affairs and a close associate of Abe, paid homage there on Sunday. Abe also made a ritual offering to the site on Saturday.

In response to the weekend visit to the shrine, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chun­ying said Monday China "consistently and firmly opposes the wrong actions of the Japanese politicians," adding, "The Chinese side urges the Japanese side to earnestly face up to and deeply reflect upon its history of aggression."

 By AFP - Global Times Source:AFP-Global Times

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