07:18 GMT +318 January 2018
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    People walk near the main shrine after a blast at the precinct of the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo, Japan, November 23, 2015

    Seoul Concerned Over Japanese Officials' Visit to Controversial WWII Shrine

    © REUTERS/ Toru Hanai
    Asia & Pacific
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    Seoul is concerned over Japanese officials’ visit to the controversial Yasukuni shrine, which is dedicated to Japanese World War II victims as well as war criminals, the South Korean foreign ministry said in a statement Monday.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) Earlier in the day, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual donation to the Shinto shrine, which is regarded as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism by other Asian nations, while 70 lawmakers and two ministers paid a visit to the shrine.

    "We express our deep concern and regret over the donation of offerings and the visit by political leaders of the government and the parliament to the Yasukuni Shrine, which embellishes the history of the Japanese aggression," the ministry’s statement reads.

    The statement also called on Tokyo authorities to “revise their views of the past” and to act upon it.

    The Yasukuni shrine was founded by Emperor Meiji in 1869. It lists about two and half million civilians and government officials who died in wars between 1867 and 1951, as well as about 1,000 war criminals, 14 of which are considered to be A-Class, or those internationally acknowledged to have participated in a joint conspiracy to start and wage war.

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    Shinzo Abe, Japan, South Korea
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