More Japanese ministers visit Yasukuni Shrine

Updated: 2013-04-21 21:53


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TOKYO - Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso visited the notorious war-linked Yasukuni Shrine Sunday evening amid the shrine's three-day spring festival started Sunday, according to local media.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who said earlier that he will not visit during the festival, offered a "masakaki" tree that is traditionally used in rituals to the shrine, with his name written under the title of "prime minister", according to Kyodo News Agency.

Earlier the day, Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission Keiji Furuya, who also is state minister for disaster management and measures for national land strengthening, paid a visit to the shrine in his capacity of a cabinet member.

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato also on Sunday made a personal visit to the shrine, which honors Japanese war criminals of the World War II, Kyodo reported.

On Saturday, Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Yoshitaka Shindo made a personal visit to the shrine, which probably will attract more lawmakers to visit during the festival.

Repeated visits to the controversial Shrine by Japanese leaders and lawmakers has become a major obstacle for Japan to mend its ties with neighboring China and South Korea that suffered Japan's invasion in the World War II.

China and South Korea have urged many times that Japanese leaders should stop visits to the shrine and take a responsible attitude toward history.