The Japanese officials say their visit was timed to an autumn festival.
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.
|May 25||Nagoya Castle structures restored|
|At the Nagoya Castle compound in central Japan, restoration work has been completed on the entrance and reception room of the main residential building for the first time in 70 years. (NHK )|
|May 24||Tokyo cops bust casino in Shibuya|
|Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Wednesday raided an Internet casino in Shibuya Ward for offering illegal gambling. (Tokyo Reporter )|
|May 24||WWII vet gets 'Order of the Rising Sun' from Japan's ambassador|
|The government of Japan has bestowed one of that nation's highest honors on a Japanese-American, a former U.S. Soldier and World War II veteran, for his work furthering relationships between the Japanese and Americans. (army.mil )|
|May 23||Osaka court accepts losing horse racing bets as expenses|
|Osaka District Court accepted a claim on Thursday that losses on betting on horse racing should be deductible from payouts to calculate taxable income. (Jiji Press )|
|May 23||Japanese becomes oldest person to conquer Everest|
|Eighty-year-old Yuichiro Miura has become the oldest person to scale Mount Everest, his management office said Thursday. (Japan Times )|
|May 23||Youth arrested for hitting 16-year-old girl with baseball bat|
|An 18-year-old youth has been arrested on a charge of attempted murder after he allegedly hit a 16-year-old girl in the head with a baseball bat. (Japan Today )|
|May 22||X Japan waxes lyrical at Madame Tussauds debut|
|This Monday, members of the seminal metal band X Japan were in Odaiba rubbing shoulders with the likes of Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga and AKB48′s Yuko Oshima. The catch? They were all made out of wax. (Japan Times )|
|May 22||Transport ministry to unify rules for baby strollers on buses, trains|
|The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has announced that it intends to draw up a set of unified rules for the use of baby strollers on buses and trains. (Japan Today )|
|May 21||Man stabs ex-wife, then crashes car during getaway|
|A man stabbed his ex-wife on a street in Isehara, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Tuesday morning, and then caused a car crash while he was fleeing from the scene. (Japan Today )|
|May 21||Japan Crown Prince to visit Spain|
|Japanese Crown Prince Naruhito will visit Spain for seven days from June 10, the government said Tuesday. (Jiji Press )|