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S. Korean FM repeats condemnation of shrine visit in Japan

SEOUL, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's top diplomat repeated his condemnation of Japanese politicians for their visit to the controversial war shrine, describing the visit as a big stumbling block to peace and cooperation in the region.

"As seen in the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's recent visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, the history-revisionist attitude of Japan's political leadership brought isolation upon itself and served as a big stumbling block to peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia," Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said in his New Year's message on Thursday.

His comments came after Abe paid respect to the notorious war shrine on Dec. 26 for the first time in about seven years as the incumbent Japanese prime minister.

The shrine has been seen as a symbol of Japan's war of aggression and colonial rule as it enshrines war criminals, including Hideki Tojo who plunged East Asia into a devastating war and Kuniaki Koiso who, as governor-general of the country during the colonial rule, pillaged South Korea through coerced conscription, forced labor and extortion.

Japan's Internal Affairs Minister Yoshitaka Shindo paid a visit to the war shrine again on Wednesday, triggering a strong backlash from China and South Korea.

"Our government's stance on the Yasukuni Shrine is crystal clear," Seoul's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Cho Tai-young told a routine press briefing on Thursday. "Repeatedly saying, the visit is reflecting a wrong perception of history (of Japanese politicians)."

Cho stressed that the Japanese politicians must not visit the war-linked shrine, urging them to show their sincerity toward the right perception of history and convert the perception into action.

The spokesman said South Korea has hoped for improved ties with Japan, noting that Tokyo should ponder about who has caused frosty relations between the two nations.

Related:

China slams Japanese minister for notorious shrine visit

BEIJING, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) - Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday strongly criticized Japanese Internal Affairs minister Yoshitaka Shindo for his Yasukuni Shrine visit.

Shindo on Wednesday visited the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine amid strong opposition against Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the notorious shrine on Dec. 26.  Full story

Japan's internal affairs minister visits war-linked Yasukuni Shrine

TOKYO, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Internal Affairs Minister Yoshitaka Shindo on Wednesday visited the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine amid strong opposition against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the notorious shrine on Dec. 26, according to Japan's Kyodo News.

The New Year's Day worship by Shindo to the shrine, which honors 14 class-A war criminals of the World War II and is considered as a symbol of Japan's past militarism, would trigger more anger from Japan's neighboring countries, especially from China and South Korea. Full story

Spokesman: Chinese leaders will not speak with Abe

BEIJING, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- Chinese leaders will not have any dialogue with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said here Monday.

"In regard to such a Japanese leader, the Chinese people will certainly not welcome him, and the Chinese leaders will unquestionably not speak with him either," Qin said at a regular press briefing. Full story

70 pct think Abe should consider diplomatic relations on visiting Yasukuni Shrine: poll

TOKYO, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- A poll conducted in Japan has shown that nearly 70 percent of respondents think Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should take diplomatic relations into consideration in deciding whether to visit the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine, expressing their concerns over the controversial practice of the premier. Full story

S.Korea denounces Abe's visit to war shrine

SEOUL, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's outrageous visit to the controversial Yasukuni shrine has stirred widespread condemnation inSouth Koreawhich suffered from Japan's colonial rule in the early 20th century. Full story

Singapore regrets Abe's visit to Yasukuni shrine

SINGAPORE, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- Singapore regrets the visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the Yasukuni shrine, the city-state's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Sunday.

"Our consistent position has been that such visits reopen old grievances, and are unhelpful to building trust and confidence in the region," a foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement.Full story

U.S. newspapers warn against Abe's visit to war shrine

WASHINGTON, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- Major U.S. newspapers on Friday published editorials on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to a controversial war shrine, warning against risky nationalism and military adventures behind the move. Full story

China says Abe must repent shrine visit

BEIJING, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi on Saturday declared that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Yasukuni shrine was a mistake that must be corrected.

"The Chinese people cannot be insulted, nor can people of Asia and the world be humiliated. Abe must own up to the wrongdoing, correct the mistake and take concrete measures to remove its egregious effects," said Yang in the statement. Full story

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