Japan lawmakers’ group visits Yasukuni shrine for war dead

22 April 2017 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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REUTERS, 21st APRIL, 2017- Dozens of Japanese lawmakers, including one cabinet minister, visited a shrine to Japan’s war dead on Friday, in a move that could spark protests elsewhere in Asia where the shrine is regarded as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism.  


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering to the Yasukuni Shrine spring festival, which takes place as Japan seeks greater cooperation with China and South Korea in the face of rising tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.  


Asian neighbours have been outraged in the past by Japanese politicians visiting the shrine in downtown Tokyo as it honours 14 Japanese leaders convicted by an Allied tribunal as war criminals, along with the other war dead.  


Around 95 members of parliament paid their respects en masse on Friday, NHK national television said, including Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi, who usually visited during the shrine’s twice-yearly festivals and on August 15, the anniversary of Japan’s World War Two surrender.  

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