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Tuesday, April 28, 2015, 11:25

Another Yasukuni visit ahead of Abe-Obama meet

By Xinhua

 Another Yasukuni visit ahead of Abe-Obama meet
Japanese lawmakers follow a Shinto priest (right) during a visit to the controversial Yasukuni shrine to honour the war dead at in Tokyo on April 22, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / Yoshikazu TSUNO)

TOKYO - Tomomi Inada, policy chief of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic party (LDP), paid homage to the war-linked notorious Yasukuni shrine on Tuesday ahead of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's summit with US President Barack Obama in Washington later in the day.

Inada, who denies Japan's responsibilities for waging World War II and challenges the legitimacy of the trials by the International Military Tribunal of the Far East, said after her worship that she admired the martyrs enshrined in Yasukuni.

About 2.5 million Japanese war dead are enshrined in the Yasukuni that also honors 14 Class-A Japanese war criminals. The shrine is considered a symbol of past Japanese militarism and visits to the infamous shrine by Japanese ministers and lawmakers are a major reason for frayed ties between Japan and its neighbors including China and South Korea.

The United States also expressed its disappointment after Abe visited the shrine in late 2013 as the move was certain to exacerbate tensions in the East Asian region and Japan's key ally urged the country to properly address historical issues with its neighbors.

Abe said Monday in Boston that Japan would redouble its efforts to improve relations with China and South Korea, but the policy chief of LDP, Inada, justified visiting Yasukuni.

The latest visit comes as Abe's administration is reluctant to recognize the Nanjing Massacre in which about 300,000 Chinese, including a great number of civilians, were killed by Japanese troops in 1937.

Abe made an offering to the shrine ahead of his visit to the United States and three of his cabinet ministers visited the shrine immediately after Abe's meeting in Indonesia last week with Chinese President Xi Jinping who told Abe that historical issues were a major matter of principle concerning the political basis of China-Japan relations.

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