South Korea and China have canceled meetings with top Japanese officials to protest Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to a controversial war shrine.

South Korean Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday he had called off a trip to Japan, saying the visit would not be "appropriate."

Officials in Seoul also say President Roh Moo-hyun may cancel a summit with Mr. Koizumi, expected to take place later this year.

Tuesday, China canceled a trip to Beijing by Japan's foreign minister, saying the visit was not timely given the current situation.

The Yasukuni shrine honors 2.5 million Japanese war dead, including convicted war criminals.

Critics say Yasukuni represents Japan's past military aggression, but Mr. Koizumi says his visits are to pray for peace.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuters.