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Monday, 16th August 2010
In Events In Japan,

Japanese PM avoids war shrine on VJ Day

Japanese prime minister Naoto Kan has sought to strengthen ties with a number of other Asian nations by not visiting a controversial Tokyo war shrine which honours Japanese war dead including some of the country's most notorious war criminals.

According to local news sources cited by global media, for the first time in 25 years, no member of the Japanese government visited the Yasukuni shrine in the country's capital city to mark VJ Day.

VJ Day is the anniversary of the surrender of Japan in the second world war, spurred on by the devastating atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Visits to the monument often occurred under the previous government and this often angered Asian neighbours such as China and the Korean Peninsula, which was occupied by Japanese troops during the conflict.

As well as avoiding the controversial memorial, prime minister Kan once again apologised for Japan's actions during the conflict and attended a memorial service at the Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo, along with 1,800 government officials.

Japanese opposition leaders visited the Yasukuni shrine.

Written by Mark Smith

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