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Japan's cabinet minister visits notorious Yasukuni Shrine

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-08-11 15:55

TOKYO - New reconstruction minister of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet visited the war-linked notorious Yasukuni Shrine here on Thursday.

Masahiro Imamura, minister in charge of comprehensive policy coordination for revival from the nuclear accident at Fukushima, is a regular visitor to the notorious shrine, which honors millions of war dead as well as 14 convicted Class-A war criminals of World War II.

He routinely visits the shrine during its spring and autumn festivals, according to Kyodo News.

Imamura's visit came just days prior to the Aug 15 anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II.

The 69-year-old lawmaker of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party is a former railway man who had worked on agricultural issues after being first elected to the House of Representatives in 1996.

A native of Saga prefecture in southwestern Japan, he had served as senior vice minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Imamura took office as minister for reconstruction last week following Abe's cabinet reshuffle on Aug 3.

Yasukuni Shrine is regarded as a symbol of the past Japanese militarism. Visits to the infamous shrine by Japanese leaders and officials have sparked strong criticism from China and the Republic of Korea.

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