U.S. says disappointed at Japan PM's shrine visit

TOKYO (Reuters) - The United States said on Thursday it was disappointed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to a controversial shrine for the war dead, which had already prompted sharp rebukes from China and South Korea.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine for war dead on Thursday, seen by many as a symbol of Japan's World War Two militarism.

"Japan is a valued ally and friend. Nevertheless, the United States is disappointed that Japan's leadership has taken an action that will exacerbate tensions with Japan's neighbors," the U.S. embassy in Japan said in a statement.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Shinichi Saoshiro)