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South Korea regrets Japanese PM's offering to war-criminal shrine

By Jiang Xueqing in Tokyo | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-04-21 15:05

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida sent a ritual offering to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine on Sunday on the occasion of its spring festival, sparking criticism from neighboring countries, such as South Korea.

The Yasukuni Shrine, a symbol of Japan's historical brutal militarism, received Kishida's ceremonial tree called "masakaki." This act occurred on the first day of a three-day ceremony at the shrine.

Additionally, Japan's economic revitalization minister, Yoshitaka Shindo, paid a visit to the shrine on Sunday.

South Korea expressed "deep disappointment and regret" regarding Kishida's offering and the minister's visit.

"We urge the responsible leaders of Japan to squarely face up to history and show through action a humble reflection and genuine repentance for the past," said South Korea's foreign ministry spokesperson Lim Soo-suk in a statement, Yonhap News Agency reported.

The Yasukuni Shrine, located in central Tokyo, honors 14 convicted Class-A Japanese war criminals from World War II. It has long been a source of diplomatic friction for Japan and its neighbors.

Previous visits and ritual offerings made by Japanese officials and lawmakers to the controversial shrine have elicited strong reactions from China, South Korea and other countries brutalized by Japan during the war.


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