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Japan minister visits controversial war shrine, move likely to anger China, South Korea

Published on Apr 20, 2014 10:29 AM

TOKYO (AFP) - A Japanese state minister visited a controversial war shrine in Tokyo on Sunday in a move likely to anger China and South Korea which see it as a symbol of Japan's militarist past.

Mr Keiji Furuya, chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, paid homage at the Yasukuni shrine in the morning ahead of its annual spring festival which runs from Monday to Wednesday.

"I made the visit today so that it would not interrupt my official duty," Mr Furuya said in a statement to Japanese media.

"It is natural for a Japanese to express his sincere condolences and pray for the souls of those who sacrificed their lives for the country."

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