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June 28, 2017

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MOFA urges Japan to reflect on its conduct during World War II

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan yesterday called on Japan to deeply reflect on its conduct during World War II and to promote peace in the region in response to the visits of Japanese Cabinet officials to a controversial shrine honoring Japanese war dead, including several convicted war criminals.

According to foreign media reports, two Japanese Cabinet ministers paid respects at the Yasukuni Shrine yesterday, the anniversary of the end of WWII nearly seven decades ago when Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces.

Asked to comment on the visits, MOFA spokeswoman Anna Kao (高安) yesterday said that the R.O.C. government reiterates its stance that the occurrences of before and during World War II should not be forgotten.

The Japanese government should look squarely at historical facts, deeply reflect on themselves and responsively work with neighboring countries to promote peace and develop friendly relations with the people that suffered so deeply during the war.

Keiji Furuya, chairman of the National Public Safety Commission and Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Yoshitaka Shindo yesterday reportedly visited the shrine.

Furuya was quoted by media as saying that it was "only natural as a Japanese" to honor those who had given up their lives for their country.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, however, did not go to the shrine. Instead he sent a gift through an envoy as head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and not as prime minister.

The shrine is controversial as it honors 2.5 million Japanese war dead, including 14 World War II criminals who committed atrocities in China, Korea and other Asia-Pacific countries.

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