China, S.Korea slam Yasukuni visits by ministers

NHK -- Aug 16
China has strongly protested an offering made by Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide to Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo and Sunday's visits by his Cabinet members. Japan marks the end of World War Two on August 15.

Yasukuni Shrine honors Japan's war dead. Those remembered include leaders convicted of war crimes after World War Two.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying issued a statement on Sunday, saying that the Chinese side has lodged solemn representations with the Japanese side through diplomatic channels to register strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition.

The statement says China urges Japan to earnestly honor its commitment of facing up to and reflecting on its history of aggression, tread carefully on historical issues such as Yasukuni Shrine, make a clean break with militarism and win the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community through concrete actions.

South Korea's foreign ministry spokesperson said in a written commentary, "The government voices deep disappointment and regret over Japanese leaders repeating the sending of offerings and visits to Yasukuni Shrine that beautifies Japan's past war of aggression and enshrines war criminals."

The statement urges "responsible people in Japan to show with action their humble soul-searching and genuine reflection on history, while pointing out that only when based on such attitude, will Japan be able to build future-oriented relations with South Korea and gain trust from other neighbors".

The ministry summoned an executive of the Japanese embassy in Seoul to lodge a protest after Defense Minister Kishi Nobuo visited the shrine on Friday. - NHK