News / Asia

Japan Internal Affairs Minister Follows Abe in Visit to War Shrine

FILE - Liberal Democratic Party Japanese lawmaker Yoshitaka Shindo.
FILE - Liberal Democratic Party Japanese lawmaker Yoshitaka Shindo.
Reuters
A Japanese cabinet member visited Yasukuni Shrine Wednesday, pouring salt on a fresh wound after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's pilgrimage there last week drew sharp criticism from China and South Korea. The shrine is seen by critics as a symbol of Tokyo's wartime aggression.
 
Internal Affairs Minister Yoshitaka Shindo said he thought his visit to the shrine was unlikely to become a diplomatic issue, Kyodo news agency reported.
 
Beijing and Seoul have repeatedly expressed anger over politicians' visits to Yasukuni, where Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal after WWII are honored alongside those who died in battle.
 
Both China and Korea suffered under Japanese rule, with parts of China occupied from the 1930s and Korea colonized from 1910 to 1945. Japanese leaders have apologized in the past, but many in China and South Korea doubt the sincerity of the apologies, partly because of contradictory remarks by politicians.
 
Underscoring the deteriorating ties between Asia's two biggest economies, China said its leaders would not meet Abe after he visited Yasukuni on Thursday. Abe’s visit was the first by a serving Japanese prime minister since 2006.
 
A commentary in China's ruling Communist Party's top newspaper called Abe's actions a threat to peace in the region.
 
“Abe paying homage at the Yasukuni Shrine is an offensive, open provocation, and announces to the world his old imperial dreams. The international community must strike back strongly and be on guard for the ashes of Japan's militarism to reignite,” the paper said.
 
Ties between Japan and China were already precarious due to a simmering row over ownership of a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.
 
China has said it is willing to talk to Japan about the issue, but has accused Abe of not being serious about wanting to resolve the dispute.
 
Abe, a staunch conservative, has called for dialog with China since returning to power a year ago, but Beijing had shown no inclination to respond to those overtures, even before the latest Yasukuni controversy.
 
Experts see his visit as an attempt to recast Japan's wartime past in a less apologetic light and revive national pride.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid