ANTONI SLODKOWSKI AND LINDA SIEG
December 26, 2013
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited a shrine on Thursday that is seen by critics as a symbol of Tokyo’s wartime aggression, infuriating China and South Korea and prompting a message of concern from the United States about deteriorating ties between the North Asian neighbors.
China and South Korea have repeatedly expressed anger in the past over Japanese politicians’ visits to Yasukuni Shrine, where Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal after World War Two are honored along with those who died in battle.
The two countries have been especially touchy about visits to the shrine by serving Japanese prime ministers, and Abe is the first leader in office to pay homage at Yasukuni in the past seven years.
Business ties between China and Japan, the world’s second- and third-largest economies, have improved after a downturn sparked by a flare-up last year in a row over tiny East China Sea islands controlled by Japan but also claimed by China.
This article was posted: Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 5:44 am