US Disappointed in Japanese Prime Minister's Visit to War Shrine

New faces, old controversy



Shinzo Abe was the first Japanese prime minister to visit the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo in seven years, yielding the same kind of criticisms Junichiro Koizumi got from China and South Korea on his annual trips to Yasukuni, where 2.5 million veterans are enshrined, including several war criminals convicted in the post-WW2 tribunal in Tokyo. Hirohito, who was Emperor of Japan during World War II and until his death in 1989, refused to visit the shrine after top war criminals were enshrined there in the 70s. Add to the list of outraged countries the United States.

From USA Today:

The United States has joined China and South Korea in criticizing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for visiting a war shrine in Tokyo.

"Japan is a valued ally and friend," said a statement from the American Embassy in Tokyo. "Nevertheless, the United States is disappointed that Japan's leadership has taken an action that will exacerbate tensions with Japan's neighbors."

Read the rest of the statement here.

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