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DP leader congratulates PM Kishida on election victory, urges against Yasukuni Shrine visit

Democratic Party Chairman Rep. Song Young-gil attends a meeting of the supreme party council at the National Assembly in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)
Democratic Party Chairman Rep. Song Young-gil attends a meeting of the supreme party council at the National Assembly in Seoul on Friday. (Yonhap)
The chairman of the ruling Democratic Party (DP) on Friday congratulated Fumio Kishida on his recent victory in the Japanese ruling party's leadership race and urged the incoming prime minister to avoid making a diplomatic faux pas, such as visiting the controversial Yasukuni Shrine.

"In order to resolve the strained South Korea-Japan relationship, (Kishida) should abstain from conduct that hampers the national sentiment of neighboring countries like South Korea and China, such as a visit to worship at the Yasukuni Shrine," DP Chairman Rep. Song Young-gil stated during a meeting of the supreme party council.

The war shrine, which beautifies Japan's past wars of aggression and enshrines war criminals, is often a source of diplomatic tension between Seoul and Tokyo when ranking Japanese officials visit the shrine for worships.

The DP leader urged the new Kishida administration to break away from the policy direction of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and come up with a new stance focusing on improved Seoul-Tokyo relations and enhancing bilateral ties.

The former Japanese foreign minister is set to take office as the country's new prime minister Monday, following his victory in the leadership race of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party earlier this week. (Yonhap)

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