No Japan Minister Visits Yasukuni Shrine during Autumn Festival

Politics

Tokyo, Oct. 20 (Jiji Press)--None of the Japanese cabinet ministers including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Tokyo's war-related Yasukuni Shrine during this year's four-day autumn festival that ended Saturday.

They stopped short of visiting the shrine, regarded as a symbol of Japan's past militarism in China and South Korea, during the festival apparently because Abe is trying to improve his country's relationship with China, informed sources said.

Abe will start a three-day trip to China on Thursday. A meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping is set for Friday.

The Shinto shrine for the war dead honors Class-A World War II criminals, including former Prime Minister Hideki Tojo. The relationship between Japan and China would deteriorate if Abe or any other members of the cabinet visits the shrine.

After returning to power in 2012, he visited the shrine in December 2013, drawing criticism from many countries.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press