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South Korea Passes Resolution Condemning Abe Shrine Visit

  • Reuters

South Korea's parliament on Tuesday passed a resolution denouncing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the controversial Yasukuni war shrine.

“We declare that the resolution denouncing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for paying his respects at Yasukuni shrine is passed,” said the Deputy Chairman of South Korean National Assembly Park Byung-seok.

On Monday, the parliament's committee for foreign affairs adopted the same resolution in preparation for the final vote on Tuesday at the parliament's plenary session, which is the highest meeting of the parliament.

The resolution, which is a formal protest but does not impact Japan, said that Abe's visit to the war shrine was an action which obstructed world peace and it urged the South Korean government to respond firmly.

On Thursday, Abe became the first Japanese premier in seven years to pay his respects at Yasukuni Shrine, where Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal after World War Two are honored along with those who died in battle.

South Korea has termed the visit a deplorable and anachronistic act that damaged ties between the two countries and summoned a top Japanese diplomat in Seoul to protest.

Abe, a conservative who took office for a second term one year ago, said he did not intend to hurt feelings in neighboring nations.

Tokyo's relations with Beijing and Seoul are already strained by territorial rows and disputes stemming from Japan's wartime occupation of large parts of China and its 1910-1945 colonization of the Korean peninsula.