South Korea Protests Kishida Yasukuni Shrine Visit

South Korea expressed “deep disappointment and regret” after Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida sent a traditional offering to Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine for the war dead on Thursday.

Yasukuni Shrine is a shrine dedicated to Japan’s war dead and includes 14 Class A war criminals which China, South Korea, and is regarded as a symbol of Japanese aggression prior to and during World War II.

Kishida delivered a customary offering to Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, a potted tree, to commemorate the commencement of the shrine’s annual spring celebration.

“The government of the Republic of Korea expresses deep disappointment and regret over the fact that responsible leaders of Japan have once again sent offerings to and paid respects at the Yasukuni Shrine which glorifies Japan’s war of aggression and enshrines war criminals,” The South Korean Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Park Jin, who has been selected by President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol to be South Korea’s next foreign minister, told reporters that it is critical for Japanese leaders to continue to reflect respectfully on their country’s history. 

The South Korean government also said it “strongly urges the leaders of Japan to squarely face history, and demonstrate through action their humble reflection and sincere remorse for Japan’s past history.”

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