News / Asia

China, S. Korea Criticize Japanese Ministers' War Shrine Visit

Japanese lawmakers, including cabinet ministers, are led by a Shinto priest as they visit the Yasukuni Shrine for the war dead in Tokyo, October 18, 2012.
Japanese lawmakers, including cabinet ministers, are led by a Shinto priest as they visit the Yasukuni Shrine for the war dead in Tokyo, October 18, 2012.
China and South Korea are criticizing the latest visits to a controversial Tokyo war shrine by members of the Japanese cabinet.

The Thursday visits by two Japanese cabinet ministers, former prime minister Yoshiro Mori and more than 60 other lawmakers from various parties to the Yasukuni shrine prompted quick criticism in other Asian countries.

Yasukuni, where the souls of Class-A war criminals are enshrined, is viewed as a symbol of Japan's early 20th century militarism.

The Japanese officials say their visit was timed to an autumn festival.

South Korean foreign ministry spokesman Cho Tai-young calls the act by the Japanese politicians irresponsible, ignoring the sentiments of the victims of Japan's past imperialism in neighboring countries.

Cho says the government of the Republic of Korea wants Japanese political leaders to be responsible and humbly confront history.

In Beijing, China's foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei also called on the Japanese to reflect on history  to better get along with their neighbors.

Hong says the shrine is a spiritual pillar of Japan's overseas aggression.

One of the cabinet members making the pilgrimage to the shrine, Postal Privatization Minister Mikio Shimoji says he made the visit in his official capacity as the secretary general of the People's New Party, an ally of the governing Democratic Party of Japan.

Shimoji says he hopes the visit by him and other politicians will not become a major diplomatic issue.

Transport minister Yuichiro Hata says his visit was in a private capacity.

Hata says he does not know whether the visit will have an effect on relations with China, but he hopes it does not.

The politicians appeared at the shrine one day after the leader of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, Shinzo Abe, offered prayers there.

China's Xinhua news agency remarked that Abe's visit has dealt another blow to already fragile Sino-Japanese relations.

Abe, a hawkish former prime minister, is the leading candidate to return to his old job should the opposition prevail in the next general election.

Current Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda of the DPJ, has refrained from visiting Yasukuni and had asked that members of his cabinet also not visit, a request also not heeded previously.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid