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2nd LD: Japanese ministers visit war-linked Yasukuni Shrine
TOKYO, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Internal Affairs Minister Yoshitaka Shindo visited the controversial war-linked Yasukuni Shrine on Friday on the 69th anniversary of Japan's surrender in the World War II.
Shindo's visit to the notorious shrine follows Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission Keiji Furuya's worship minutes later and Shindo said his visit was a private behavior.
For his part, Furuya said after his visit that it is reasonable for him, as a Japanese, to pay worship to the shrine that he called as a place not to whitewash Japan's wartime history.
Furuya visited the shrine during its spring and autumn festivals since he became state minister of the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet launched in 2012. He also paid his respect to the Yasukuni on Aug. 15 last year.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who reportedly will not to visit this time, planned to send sacrifice to the shrine and his visit last year in December triggered strong criticism worldwide.
Meanwhile, Shinjiro Koizumi, lower house lawmaker from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, also paid a visit to the controversial shrine Friday.
Repeated worships to the shrine angers Japan's neighboring countries that suffered Japan's brutal aggression in wartime as 14 convicted Class-A Japanese war criminals during the WWII are enshrined here.
Japan's relations with its neighboring countries, especially South Korea and China, have frayed not only for territorial disputes, but also due to the Yasukuni and "comfort women" issues, which are considered as a test stone to Japan's reflection on its wartime history.
Both of the two Japan's neighbors urged many times that Japan and its officials should face up to its past history and act concretely to mend ties with its neighboring countries.
Xinhua is China's state-run news agency.
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