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Iran Press TV

Japan parliamentarians visit controversial shrine

Iran Press TV

Fri Oct 17, 2014 7:53AM GMT

In a move frowned upon by Japan's neighbors, as many as 110 of the country's parliamentarians have paid homage to a shrine where millions of the WWII dead are laid to rest.

On Friday, the MPs visited the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors some 2.5 million people, who died in World War II and other conflicts, among them being war criminals.

The country's neighbours view such acts by high-profile politicians as an insult and a painful reminder of Tokyo's aggression in the first half of the 20th century.

Hidehisa Otsuji, who led the group of lawmakers, however, said that 'People in any country pay homage to those who died for the sake of their countries.'

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who infuriated Beijing and Seoul by visiting the shrine in December last year, has sent a potted tree in a ritual offering to the shrine.

Also on Friday, Beijing reacted to the visit, with foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei saying in a statement, 'China is gravely concerned and firmly opposes the negative activities in Japan surrounding the Yasukuni Shrine.'

He added, 'China would like to reiterate that Sino-Japan relations can only realize healthy and stable development when Japan seriously faces up to and repents of its aggressive past and disassociates itself with militarism.'

HN/AB/KA



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