China outraged as Japanese lawmakers visit war shrine
By Elaine Lies, ReutersTOKYO--Japan's internal affairs minister and more than 100 other lawmakers visited the Yasukuni Shrine for war dead on Friday and China responded by accusing Japan of undermining ties and trying to overturn the post-World War Two order.
October 19, 2013, 12:42 am TWN
The visits, marking an autumn festival, came a day after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made his third ritual offering to the shrine since returning to office last year, though he did not visit it in person.
“The Yasukuni Shrine is a symbol and spiritual tool of Japanese militarism,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a news conference in Beijing.
“It consecrates monstrous crimes committed against Asia's victimized peoples, including those in China, by 14 Class A war criminals.”
The visits, she said, were another attempt to whitewash Japan's history “and challenge the end result of World War Two, as well as the post-war international order.”
Internal Affairs Minister Yoshitaka Shindo was the most senior of about 160 lawmakers to visit the shrine to mark the festival, which runs until Sunday. A deputy chief cabinet secretary also went.
“I visited the shrine in a private capacity,” Shindo said, noting that his grandfather is honored there. “I do not think this should become a diplomatic issue.”