Japanese minister visits war-linked Yasukuni Shrine

Tokyo, Jan 1 : Japanese Internal Affairs Minister Yoshitaka Shindo Wednesday visited the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine amid strong opposition against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit there Dec 26, a media report said.

The minister's visit to the shrine - which honours World War II criminals and is considered as a symbol of Japan's past militarism - is likely to provoke its neighbouring countries, especially China and South Korea, Xinhua reported citing Japan's Kyodo news agency.

Shindo also visited the shrine during its spring and autumn festivals, and on the Aug 15 anniversary of Japan's WWII surrender.

Prime Minister Abe visited Yasukuni Shrine Dec 26, drawing criticism from all quarters, including the US.

Repeated visits to the war shrine by Japan's ministers and lawmakers have become a major obstacle for the country to mend its already strained ties with China and South Korea.

--IANS (Posted on 01-01-2014)

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