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Tuesday, 5th August 2008
In General Japan News,

Japanese PM rules out visit to controversial shrine

Japan's prime minister Yasuo Fukuda has ruled out paying a visit to Tokyo's controversial Yasakuni shrine on the anniversary of Japan's surrender in the second world war.

Many people throughout Asia see the shrine as a symbol of Japan's militaristic past as it honours Japanese soldiers who died in the conflict, including those convicted of war crimes, reports Reuters.

Bunmei Ibuki, the recently appointed finance minister, also said he would not be visiting the memorial, saying: "I have never visited Yasukuni on August 15th and I will maintain that stance."

Jiji Press reported that two members of Mr Fukuda's cabinet, justice minister Okiharu Yasuoka and agricultural minister Seiichi Ota, would be attending the shrine on the day of the anniversary.

The Yasakuni shrine was founded in 1869. The deities of around 2.5 million people who died in various conflicts such as the Russo-Japanese War and the Manchuarian Incident, are enshrined within the memorial, according to Japan-Guide.com.