Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada visited the notorious war-linked Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on Thursday, a day after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe returned from his non-apology trip to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
Inada said she put down “Defense Minister Tomomi Inada” as her name in the visitor’s log of the shrine, though meanwhile claiming that she went there as “a citizen of this country.”
This was Inada’s first visit to the notorious shrine since she entered Abe’s Cabinet in early August. Her visit to Djibouti in Africa this August prevented the hawkish figure from visiting it on the 71st anniversary of the end of World War II on Aug. 15.
Inada, known for a close ally of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a supporter of revamping Japan’s pacifist constitution, regularly visited the notorious Yasukuni Shrine on the Aug. 15 anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II before assuming the post of defense minister.
Earlier, Masahiro Imamura, Japan’s disaster reconstruction minister, visited the notorious shrine on Wednesday, shortly after Abe attended a memorial at Pearl Harbor.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Wednesday that China is firmly opposed to the visit to the Yasukuni Shrine by Masahiro Imamura.
“We once again seriously urge Japan to squarely face and deeply reflect upon the history of invasion and deal with the issue with a responsible attitude to win the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community through concrete acts,” Hua said.
The notorious Tokyo war shrine, which honors 14 Class-A convicted war criminals among 2.5 million Japanese war dead from the WWII, is regarded as a symbol of the past Japanese militarism.
The Japanese government billed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to Pearl Harbor as a tour of reconciliation. However, except to offer his “sincere and everlasting condolences” to the souls of the Americans killed by troops of the Japanese imperial empire, no apology from Abe was issued.
As many as 2,403 Americans were killed, about 20 U.S. vessels were sunk or damaged and over 300 U.S. aircraft were damaged or destroyed when more than 350 Japanese warplanes launched stealth attacks on Pearl Harbor on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941.
Japan’s Asian neighbors have called on Abe to visit places in Asia which suffered heavily from Japan’s barbaric militarism during the war.
Story by Xinhua.