World / Asia-Pacific

S.Korea denounces Abe for making offering to controversial war shrine

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-10-18 21:50

SEOUL, Oct. 18 -- South Korea's foreign ministry on Sunday denounced Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for his making a ritual offering to the controversial Yasukuni shrine, a site widely seen as a symbol of Japan's militarist past.

Abe dedicated a "masakaki" tree Saturday to the shrine, which honors class-A convicted war criminals during the World War II. On Sunday, two Japanese cabinet ministers also visited the war shrine, which is holding a four-day autumn festival.

Seoul's foreign ministry said in a statement that the repetition of Abe's offering making and cabinet ministers' paying respect to the shrine "has no difference from glorifying Japan's past colonization and war of aggression."

The repetition "runs counter to our efforts to improve (South) Korea-Japan relations by holding a trilateral summit between Korea, China and Japan," the statement said.

The three Asian countries are scheduled to hold a summit meeting in Seoul in the coming weeks. Abe and South Korean President Park Geun-hye are expected to hold a bilateral summit on the sidelines of the trilateral meeting.

Park has refused to sit down with Abe amid historical and territorial disputes. Park has strongly called on Abe to acknowledge and make a sincere apology for the Japan's past atrocities during the World War II, especially for the "comfort women" who were forcibly recruited to serve Japan's military brothels during the devastating war.

The statement said that the stable development in Seoul-Tokyo relations will be made possible only when Japan shows a humble reflection and repentance over its past wrongdoings based on the right perception of history.

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