Japan defence minister visits Yasukuni war shrine

Dec 30, 2016, 01:01
Japan defence minister visits Yasukuni war shrine

Tomomi Inada visited the Yasukuni Shrine in central Tokyo on Thursday morning, television footage showed.

"It is deplorable that a responsible Japanese politician paid respect at the Yasukuni Shrine", the Korean Foreign Ministry said through a statement, "which glorifies Japan's colonial invasion and war of aggressions and enshrines war criminals".

The visit came just two days after Inada accompanied Abe to Hawaii's Pearl Harbor where the Japanese leader laid a wreath at the USS Arizona Memorial along with US President Barack Obama.

"I visited the shrine wishing to firmly create peace for Japan and the world from a future-oriented perspective".

Noting that Japan waged a war of aggression against China and other Asian countries, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a press conference, "Reconciliation between the inflicters and victims must and can only be based upon honest reflection and apology from the inflicters".

And it was enough for Obama, who also declined to apologize seven months ago when he became America's first sitting president to visit Hiroshima, where the USA dropped an atomic bomb in a bid to end the war.

Inada joined Abe to commemorate the victims of the Japanese attack. As an MP she had made the trip every 15 August - the anniversary of Japan's wartime defeat - between 2006 and 2015.

Japan's Defense Minister Tomomi Inada and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe waving as they depart for Hawaii from Tokyo's Haneda airport

Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, bringing the United States into World War II.

He has stayed away after that, but Japanese conservatives have called on him to visit the shrine again.

The ministry also called in Kohei Maruyama, a minister at the Japanese Embassy in South Korea, to lodge its protest over the Yasukuni visit.

At a regular news briefing in Seoul, South Korea's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Cho June-hyuck, said "our government once again points out that Japan could recover trust from its neighbors and the global society only when Japanese leaders take actions reflecting humble self-examination and honest repentance while facing up to history correctly".

Masahiro Imamura, Japan's disaster reconstruction minister, went to Yasukuni on Wednesday, drawing criticism from Beijing. Abe's visit reciprocates Duterte's own successful trip to Japan last October, said Yasay.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said his visit "reflects the Japanese government's unhealthy attitude toward its past transgressions".

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