The Straits Times
Published on Oct 18, 2012

Japanese ministers visit controversial Yasukuni shrine


TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's land minister Yuichiro Hata and postal minister Mikio Shimoji visited a controversial shrine for war dead on Thursday, Kyodo news agency reported.

Their visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, seen by many in the region as a symbol of Japan's war-time militarism, came a day after Japan's main opposition party leader and possible next prime minister, Shinzo Abe, visited the shrine.

The move was likely to further strain relations with neighbours China and South Korea.

Sino-Japanese relations have soured sharply since last month when a row over disputed islands led to violent anti-Japanese protests across China and badly hurt trade.