Japan Defense Minister Kishi Visits Yasukuni Shrine

Politics

Tokyo, Aug. 13 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi visited war-related Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on Friday, ahead of the 76th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II on Sunday.

Kishi paid for a "tamagushi" ritual offering out of his own pocket and signed the visitors' book in his capacity as a member of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of parliament.

"I paid respects and condolences to those who lost their lives fighting for our country in the war," Kishi told reporters after his visit. "I renewed my pledge not to engage in war as well as my determination to protect the lives of citizens and their peaceful livelihoods."

Kishi became the second Japanese defense minister to pay respects at the Shinto shrine since the Defense Ministry was created in January 2007 through the reorganization of the Defense Agency. Tomomi Inada visited the shrine in late 2016.

The latest visit is likely to provoke a backlash from China and South Korea, which regard the shrine as a symbol of Japan's past militarism as it honors Class-A war criminals along with the war dead.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press