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    Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo

    Seoul Criticizes Japanese Officials' Latest Visits to Controversial WWII Shrine

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    South Korea condemns recent visits of the Japanese officials to the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo.

    TOKYO (Sputnik) — Seoul condemns recent visits of the Japanese officials to the controversial Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo dedicated to Japanese World War II victims as well as war criminals, the South Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on Tuesday.

    "The government [of South Korea] cannot help feeling deep concern and disappointment with the repetition of the pilgrimage and ritual offerings of the political leaders from the government and parliament of Japan to the Yasukuni Shrine, idealizing the Japanese military aggression of the past years," the statement read.

    On Tuesday, local media reported that some 80 Japanese lawmakers had visited the controversial site. On Monday, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering to the shrine in absentia to mark the annual fall festival.

    The ministry called on the officials in Tokyo to seek trust of the neighboring states and reconsider its view on history.

    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.

    Previous visits to the controversial shrine by Japanese officials have sparked protests from China and South Korea in connection with the memories of Japanese occupation and colonialism before and during World War II.

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    concern, condemnation, visit, Yasukuni Shrine, Japan, Seoul, South Korea
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