Japan PM Noda vows not to visit Yasukuni Shrine during tenure

Updated: 2011-09-02 19:34


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TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Friday that he would not visit Yasukuni Shrine during his tenure.

The Yasukuni Shrine, which honors some 2.5 million Japanese war dead, including 14 war criminals, is seen as a symbol of Japan's past militarism.    

He also vowed to deepen ties with China and speed up post quake recovery at his inaugural press conference.

"With China, my basic position is to develop the mutually beneficial and strategic relationship," Noda said after naming his cabinet in the morning.

Noda stressed that reconstruction from the March 11 disaster and the resolution of the nuclear crisis remained as the top priorities for his government.

"I believe reconstruction and rehabilitation from the disaster, like for the Kan government, continues to be the top priority for our cabinet," said Noda.

Noda, the former finance minister, was elected as leader of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan on Monday and as new prime minister on Tuesday to succeed Naoto Kan.

Noda, 54, is Japan's sixth prime minister in five years.