China, S. Korea blast Ja­pan’s war shrine vis­its

The Covington News - - WORLD -

TOKYO (AP) — China and South Korea re­acted strongly Fri­day to vis­its by three Ja­panese Cabi­net min­is­ters to a Tokyo shrine that hon­ors the war dead in­clud­ing con­victed war crim­i­nals, although Ja­pan’s prime min­is­ter stayed away.

Keiji Fu­ruya, chair­man of the Na­tional Pub­lic Safety Com­mis­sion, one of the three min­is­ters who vis­ited Ya­sukuni Shrine, said it was “only nat­u­ral as a Ja­panese” to honor those who had given up their lives for their coun­try.

In­ter­nal Af­fairs and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Min­is­ter Yoshi­taka Shindo told re­porters his visit was a vow to never wage war again, and shrugged off con­cerns it may set off a diplomatic row.

“If it does, the govern­ment should give a clear and good ex­pla­na­tion,” he told re­porters af­ter pray­ing at the shrine. A third of­fi­cial, Ad­min­is­tra­tive Re­form Min­is­ter To­momi Inada, vis­ited later Fri­day.

China lam­basted the vis­its as proof of Tokyo’s in­cor­rect un­der­stand­ing of his­tory, calling Ya­sukuni “a spir­i­tual tool and sym­bol for the Ja­panese mil­i­tarists.”

“Sino-Ja­panese re­la­tions can de­velop in a healthy and sta­ble way only if Ja­pan can face up to and re­flect on the his­tory of in­va­sion and make a clear break with mil­i­tarism,” Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry spokes­woman Hua Chun­y­ing said in an on­line state­ment.

In Seoul, South Korean Pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye said some Ja­panese politi­cians were act­ing in a way that hurts both South Kore­ans and Ja­panese and fur­ther pushes the coun­tries’ peo­ple apart.

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