Japanese prime minister visits Yasukuni war shrine
TOKYO (AP) -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe paid his respects Thursday at a shrine honoring Japan's war dead in a move that drew a quick rebuke from China warning that the visit celebrated Japan's military attacks on its neighboring countries.
The visit to the shrine, which honors 2.5 million war dead including convicted class A war criminals, appears to be a departure from Abe's "pragmatic" approach to foreign policy, in which he tried to avoid alienating neighboring countries.
It was the first visit by a sitting prime minister since Junichiro Koizumi went to mark the end of World War II in 2006.
Visits to Yasukuni by Japanese politicians have long been a point of friction with China and South Korea, because of Japan's brutal aggression during World War II.