LDP leader Tanigaki, former PM Abe among 50 politicians to visit Yasukuni Shrine
More than 50 members of the conservative opposition Liberal Democratic Party—including current LDP leader Sadakazu Tanigaki and former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and—visited Yasukuni Shrine on Monday.
Visits by senior politicians to the Tokyo war shrine on the anniversary have often inflamed relations with China and South Korea and are closely scrutinized around the region. The Shinto shrine honors the 2.5 million Japanese war dead, including Class A war criminals such as Hideki Tojo, and is seen by many as a center of Japanese revisionism.
However, neither Prime Minister Naoto Kan nor any members of his cabinet visited Yasukuni on Monday, for the second year in a row. Last year — when Kan was still new at the helm and trying to improve ties with Japan’s Asian neighbors — was the first time since the end of World War II that the entire Japanese cabinet avoided visiting Yasukuni on Aug 15.
Instead, Kan officially laid a wreath Monday morning at a different war memorial in Tokyo that is not associated with Yasukun.source