South Korea: Abe’s Yasukuni offering of ‘deep concern’

Shinzo Abe. File photo: Wikipedia Commons

Aug. 15 (UPI) — South Korea’s foreign ministry expressed “deep concern” following Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe‘s decision to make a ritual offering at Yasukuni Shrine, a memorial to Japan’s war dead, including convicted war criminals.

Seoul said Wednesday leaders of the Japanese government and parliament were making ritual offerings at a shrine that glorified a history of colonial invasion and wars of aggression, Yonhap reported.

Japan colonized Korea from 1910 to 1945.

“The [South Korean] government urges Japanese political leaders to show sincere introspection and remorse regarding the past,” Seoul’s foreign ministry said.

Such an attitude could provide the foundation for a future-oriented Korea-Japan relationship, the ministry added.

NHK World reported Wednesday that Abe marked the anniversary of the end of World War II with a ritual offering, made through ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Masahiko Shibayama, who visited the Tokyo shrine.

Ruling and opposition party politicians attended the shrine as a group on the day that is also a holiday of national liberation in South Korea.

The issue of Japan’s wartime past was being raised in South Korea on Wednesday.

Labor and other civic organizations held a rally outside the Japanese consulate in Busan, and said they plan to erect a statue in honor of forced Korean laborers who worked in Japan’s wartime industries, Yonhap reported.

The plans for the statue were scrapped earlier this year.


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