S. Korean lawmakers protest over Japanese ministers' Yasukuni visits

A senior South Korean lawmaker delivered a written protest to Japanese legislators Tuesday over recent visits by Japanese Cabinet ministers to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's remarks on the matter as well as history.

The written protest, signed by South Korean lawmakers, was delivered by Kim Tae Hwan during a meeting in Tokyo with former Japanese Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga, who heads the Japan-South Korea parliamentarians' league, Nukaga told reporters. Kim is acting chairman of the Korea-Japan Parliamentarians' Union.

Tension between South Korea and Japan heightened in April after some Japanese Cabinet ministers visited the shrine that honors convicted war criminals along with Japan's war dead, and Abe endorsed the visits.

Nukaga of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party said he told the South Korean lawmakers that Japan retains the stance of developing future-oriented bilateral relations and the prime minister's remarks should be interpreted positively.

The Japanese and South Korean lawmakers agreed to enhance their efforts to improve bilateral relations, Nukaga said.