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Japanese minister visits Yasukuni Shrine

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-04-29 03:00

TOKYO - Japanese State Minister for Administrative Reforms and Public Servant System Reforms Tomomi Inada on Sunday visited the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, according to local media.

Inada's visit followed the worships by Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso and Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission Keiji Furuya during the shrine's spring festival held from April 21 to 23.

Internal Affairs and Communication Minister Yoshitaka Shindo also paid a visit, while Prime Minister Shinzo Abe offered a sacrifice to the shrine under the title of prime minister.

On April 23, a group of 168 lawmakers also worshiped the notorious shrine, which honors 2.5 million Japanese war dead, including 14 leading war criminals of the World War II, marking the first time that the number of lawmakers visiting the shrine exceeded 100 since October 2005.

Repeated visits to the controversial shrine by Japanese leaders and lawmakers have become a major obstacle for Japan to mend its ties with neighboring China and South Korea.

Due to the visits, China has lodged a protest against the visits, asking Japan to reflect its history of invasion and respect the feelings of the people of victimized countries.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se also called off a planned visit to Japan in protest against the Yasukuni Shrine worships.

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