Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits Yasukuni Shrine

Associated Press
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, second from right, follows a Shinto priest to pay respect for the war dead at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013. Abe visited Yasukuni war shrine in a move sure to infuriate China and South Korea. 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. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited a shrine on Thursday that is seen by critics as a symbol of Tokyo's wartime aggression, infuriating China and South Korea and prompting concern from the United States about deteriorating ties between the North Asian neighbors.

China and South Korea have repeatedly expressed anger in the past over Japanese politicians' visits to Yasukuni Shrine, where Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal after World War Two are honored along with those who died in battle. (REUTERS)

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