Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada visited war-linked Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo Thursday, her first visit there since she became the country's top defense official in August.
Inada's move drew protests from Beijing and Seoul. In China and South Korea, the shrine is regarded as a symbol of Japan's past militarism, because Class-A World War II criminals are enshrined.
The visit by Inada, known for her conservative historic and political views, may affect Japan's security cooperation with South Korea to deal with North Korea's missile and nuclear development. Tokyo's defense exchanges with Beijing may also be affected.
Inada was the first defense minister to visit the shrine since Japan launched the Defense Ministry in January 2007 by reorganizing the Defense Agency. Gen Nakatani, who visited Yasukuni Shrine as defense head on Aug. 15, 2002, is believed to be the most recent predecessor of Inada that made such a visit.
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Five Japanese companies have teamed up to re-create legendary comic book robot Astro Boy in toy form. The product marks the 90th anniversary of the birth of comic and animation master Osamu Tezuka. (NHK)
The government's Headquarters for Earthquake Research Promotion newly added 16 faults to a list of major active fault zones in which a magnitude-7 or larger earthquake could occur. (the-japan-news.com)
The tracks of the now-defunct Takachiho Railway in Miyazaki Prefecture - discontinued due to damage caused by Typhoon No. 14 in 2005 - have been revived as a popular tourist attraction that carried 26,000 passengers in fiscal 2015. (the-japan-news.com)
Japan's Foreign Ministry has protested to South Korea over a video clip that calls the body of water between the Japanese archipelago and the Korean Peninsula the "East Sea" instead of the "Sea of Japan". (NHK)