Singapore regrets Japanese Prime Minister's visit to Yasukuni shrine: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe (second from left), is led by a Shinto priest as he visits Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo, on Dec 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe (second from left), is led by a Shinto priest as he visits Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo, on Dec 26, 2013. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

Singapore regrets the visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the controversial Yasukuni war shrine, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Sunday.

The statement was issued in response to media queries on Mr Abe's visit to Yasukuni shrine on Dec 26.

"Singapore regrets the visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the Yasukuni Shrine. Our consistent position has been that such visits reopen old grievances, and are unhelpful to building trust and confidence in the region," the MFA spokesman said.

"Tensions in the region have been rising due to the recent series of events, actions and counter-actions, taken by a number of different parties.

"The visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, occurring against this backdrop and at this time, is likely to evoke further negative feelings and reactions in the region.

"It is in the interest of all parties to exercise restraint, avoid actions which might further raise tensions, and seek to create an environment of greater mutual trust and understanding," the statement added.