Japan Internal Minister Takaichi Visits Yasukuni Shrine
Tokyo, Oct. 18 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi visited Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on Friday, the second day of the war-related Shinto shrine's four-day autumn festival.
Takaichi was the second incumbent cabinet minister to visit the shrine during the festival, following minister for Okinawa and Northern Territories affairs Seiichi Eto, who visited it on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters after the visit, Takaichi said she "expressed gratitude with respect to the spirits of the war dead." With regard to a backlash from neighboring countries, Takaichi said that "it should not become a diplomatic issue."
Yasukuni Shrine, which enshrines Class-A World War II criminals along with the war dead, is considered a symbol of Japan's past militarism, particularly in China and South Korea.
Takaichi said she signed the register book of the shrine as internal affairs and communications minister and offered a "tamagushi" ritual offering out of her own pocket.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]