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Japanese political parties criticize Abe's Yasukuni visit

English.news.cn   2013-12-26 14:46:07            
JAPAN-ABE-YASUKUNI SHRINE-VISIT
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (2nd R) visits the war-linked Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo, Japan, on Dec. 26, 2013. (Xinhua/Ma Ping)

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TOKYO, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- A number of Japanese political parties criticized Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine Thursday, with some expressing strong opposition.

Critics included political allies. Natsuo Yamaguchi, leader of the small New Komeito Party, which is part of the ruling coalition with Abe's Liberal Democratic Party, said his party had consistently urged the prime minister to avoid visiting the shrine.

"The prime minister's visit to the Yasukuni shrine will make Japan's relations with China and South Korea tougher," Yamaguchi was quoted by local media as saying.

The visit by Abe was "regrettable", he said.

Yamaguchi said he had expressed his opposition to the prime minister before the shrine visit and Abe would have to cope with the impact on Japan's foreign relations by himself, as the prime minister clearly understood the ramifications of his visit.

Katsumasa Suzuki, the secretary general of the People's Life Party, said the visit would enrage neighboring countries, given Japan's position in the East Asian region.

Social Democratic Party secretary general Mataichi Seiji also criticized Abe's Yasukuni visit, saying the prime minister had vowed to follow an active pacifist road, but was engaging in active militarism now.

He described Abe's move as unbelievable.

It is the first time in seven years that a sitting Japanese prime minister has visited the notorious shrine. Former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi paid a visit in August 2006.

The shrine is widely considered a symbol of Japan's wartime militarism because 14 class-A war criminals, convicted by an Allied tribunal after the war, are enshrined there.

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China scathing on Abe's Yasukuni visit

BEIJING, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- China on Thursday strongly condemned Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Yasukuni shrine, saying the Japanese leader's move has deeply hurt the feelings of Asian war victims.

"(We) strongly protest and condemn the Japanese leader's wrongdoing," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said immediately after Abe's Thursday visit to the shrine, where 14 WWII class-A war criminals are honored.  Full story

Abe's shrine visit grave provocation, fuels regional tension

BEIJING, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Yasukuni shrine on Thursday is a grave provocation that may lead to heightened tension in the region.

The visit came at the first anniversary of Abe's taking office as prime minister. It is also the first visit by a sitting Japanese prime minister since Abe's predecessor Junichiro Koizumi visited the shrine in 2006.  Full story

Commentary: A dangerous Tokyo, again

BEIJING, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Some 80 years ago, Tokyo, the capital of the Japanese empire, was the dangerous place where many of its reckless militarist policies were born and where some of the worst nightmares of its neighbors began.

During the 1930s and 1940s, Japan, which had long seized the Korean Peninsula, invaded China and the Southeast Asian countries, opening one of the darkest and bloodiest chapters in modern Asian history. Full story

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Abe himself is an unabashed, pugnacious nationalist, but during his first short stint as prime minister in 2006 he managed to veil the degree of his right-wing fundamentalism, and as he wooed the electorate for a second term when he took office a year ago, it was based on his aggressive attitude towards reviving the economy and Japan's fiscal health. But that stance has shifted and political pundits and regular citizens here are gravely concerned.  Full story

Yearender: Abe repackages old, risky ideologies, triggering regional anxiety

TOKYO, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has brought dramatic change to Japan's political arena since he took office almost a year ago.

However, relations between Japan and its neighbors have remained strained during the period as regional tensions mount over territorial disputes and discontent over Japan's refusal to reflect on its wartime history.  Full story

Editor: chengyang
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