TOKYO, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided not to visit the war-linked controversial Yasukuni Shrine on Aug. 15, the 68th anniversary of Japan's surrender in the World War II, local media reported.
The decision was out of concern that the visit would further escalate tight relations with neighboring China and South Korea, Japan's Kyodo News quoted officials as saying.
Instead the visit, Abe will offer a sacrifice to the notorious shrine, which honors Japanese war dead, including 14 Class-A war criminals during the World War II, reports said.
Abe, known as a conservative hawkish leader, said in Hiroshima on Aug. 6 when the city marked the 68th anniversary of U.S. nuclear bombing of the city that he would not prevent his cabinet members from visiting the war-linked shrine.
After Abe's remarks, three cabinet members, namely Keiji Furuya, chairman of national public safety commission, Internal Affairs Minister Yoshitaka Shindo and Tomomi Inada, administrative reform minister, are mulling to worship the shrine on Thursday.
Visits to the shrine by Japanese ministers and lawmakers have sparked strong opposition from China and South Korea, both of which had suffered from Japan's aggression.
China urges Japan to follow peace, friendship treaty
BEIJING, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- The China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1978 should be commemorated and followed well, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Monday.
The treaty signed by the two countries on Aug. 12, 1978, affirms the principles in the China-Japan Joint Statement inked in 1972, defines the direction of China-Japan friendship from generation to generation, and consolidate the political foundation for the long-term development of bilateral relations, Hong said. Full story