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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 April 24 - May 7  > 168 Diet members make group visit to Yasukuni Shrine
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2013 April 24 - May 7 [HISTORY]

168 Diet members make group visit to Yasukuni Shrine

April 24, 2013
Despite criticism from South Korea and China, 168 Dietmembers on April 23 made a group visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, which glorifies Japan’s past war of aggression, on the occasion of the regular spring festival held by the shrine.

The number of participants in the group visit doubled from 81 in the previous year and hit a record high since 1989. Of those attending, 132 members belong to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, 5 to the Democratic Party of Japan, and 23 to the Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party).

Prior to this, Deputy Prime Minister Aso Taro and two other members of the Abe Cabinet paid visits to the shrine. Prime Minister Abe did not visit the shrine, but made offerings to it. Their actions aroused fierce opposition from the Chinese and South Korean governments. Seoul canceled a ROK-Japan foreign ministers meeting scheduled for late April.

The Yasukuni Shrine has been asserting that Japan’s invasion of other Asian countries during WWII was in self-defense. China and South Korea, which suffered from the invasion and colonial rule by Japan, have good reason to protest against the Japanese politicians’ visits and offerings to the shrine.

If Abe and his Cabinet members maintain their present attitude of disdain and arrogance, it will isolate Japan from the rest of Asia.
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