South Korea on Tuesday lambasted five Japanese ministers for paying homage recently to the Yasukuni Shrine, calling it a pointed challenge to neighboring nations that suffered from Japan’s militarism.
The Japanese cabinet members, including Justice Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki, on Sunday dedicated paper lanterns to the war shrine in Tokyo during the annual Mitama festival. The controversial shrine honors a number of class-A war criminals from World War II.
“The international community voiced criticism and concerns over Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the shrine last year,” Noh Kwang-il, spokesman at Seoul’s foreign ministry, told a regular press briefing.
“Nevertheless, the Japanese Cabinet members’ move to pay homage to the Yasukuni Shrine is seen as a head-on challenge to its neighboring countries that had suffered from Japan’s military aggression as well as to the international community,” he said.
The spokesman strongly urged Tokyo politicians to end their “anachronistic” behaviors.
In late December, Abe paid a visit to the controversial war shrine, inciting criticism from South Korea and China.
Japan has recently shown nationalistic historical revisionism by reviewing its landmark apology over its wartime sexual enslavement of Asian women and decision to exercise its right to what is called collective self-defense. (Yonhap)