Former Japan PM Abe visits Yasukuni Shrine
TOKYO (JAPAN) – Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a visit to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine for war dead on Saturday. This was his first visit since December 2013, after keeping himself from going to the same for most of his term to not angering China and South Korea.
Abe posted pictures of himself at the shrine on his twitter account.
The shrine has been seen as a symbol of Japan’s past military aggression by Beijing and Seoul as it honours 14 Japanese wartime leaders, who were convicted by an Allied tribunal as war criminals as well as war dead.
Abe’s visit to the shrine in person was once during his last tenure as prime minister, however, offerings were sent by him via an aide, when it marked the anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War Two and during the shrine’s spring and autumn festivals.
On Saturday, South Korea’s foreign ministry expressed regret that Abe paid respect at the shrine “immediately” after his resignation.
On the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Two on August 15, Suga, who has been a close ally of Abe, was not among the Abe cabinet ministers who visited the shrine.
Suga visited the shrine in August 2011, according to a post on his official blog.