Japan Cabinet members visit Yasukuni Shrine

Japan Cabinet members visit Yasukuni Shrine

Sanae Takaichi, minister of economic security, arrives at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on the morning of August 15. Takeshi Iwashita Current and former Cabinet members visited the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on August 15 as Japan marked the 77th anniversary of its defeat in World War II.

Visits to Yasukuni by Cabinet members have provoked anger from South Korea and China, which view the shrine as a symbol of Japan's past militarism.

The Shinto shrine honors 14 wartime leaders who were convicted alongside the war dead as Class A war criminals.

Sanae Takaichi, Minister of Economic Security, and Kenya Akiba, the reconstruction minister, paid their respects at the shrine in Chiyoda Ward.

Other diet members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party who visited the shrine included Koichi Hagiuda, the LDP's policy chief who was minister of economy, trade and industry before the Aug. 10 cabinet reshuffle, and Shinjiro Koizumi, a former environment minister.

After his visit, Hagiuda told reporters: I offered my heartfelt condolences to the spirits of our predecessors who sacrificed their lives in the war and renewed my vow to work for lasting peace. He said that he gave a cash offering to the shrine at his personal expense.

Koizumi wouldn't respond to questions from reporters.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida went on a visit to Yasukuni. An official visited the shrine to make a cash offering on Kishida's behalf as president of the LDP.

The offer was made at Kishida's personal expense, according to the official.

An all-party group of Diet members who visited Yasukuni Shrine together opted not to do so because of the spread of the novel coronaviruses.

On August 13th, the minister of economy, trade and industry, Yasutoshi Nishimura, visited the shrine.

"I offered my prayers to the spirits of soldiers who were sacrificed in the war while they wished for the best for their country and loved ones," he said in a Twitter post.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said the visits show the Japanese government's mistaken stance on the issue of their shared history.