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Japan media condemn PM Abe's war shrine visit

Published on Dec 27, 2013 9:31 AM
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (centre) speaks to reporters as he visits and offers prayer at the controversial Yasukuni shrine at the shrine in Tokyo on Dec 26, 2013. Japanese media have strongly condemned Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit yesterday to the controversial Yasukuni war shrine, accusing him of hurting Japan's national interests and isolating Japan diplomatically. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

Japanese media have strongly condemned Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit yesterday to the controversial Yasukuni war shrine, accusing him of hurting Japan's national interests and isolating Japan diplomatically.

"No matter what reasons Mr Abe puts forth for his visit, it cannot be justified," said the influential Asahi Shimbun daily in a sharply-worded editorial.

"If a sitting prime minister or Cabinet minister prays at Yasukuni, the visit takes on a meaning beyond that of purely praying for the souls of the war dead," the paper added.

The diplomatic atmosphere in the region has already soured over territorial disputes, the paper noted. Mr Abe's visit to Yasukuni has only made the situation worse.

 
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