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Tuesday, 22nd April 2008
In General Japan News,

Tokyo shrine visited by politicians

A controversial war memorial has been visited by sixty-two Japanese lawmakers, including several members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

The traditional annual visit comes at a difficult political time, as Japan's prime minister Yasuo Fukuda - who did not attend the service - hosts talks with the premiers of China and South Korea.

Organiser Yoshinobu Shimamura is quoted by Japan Today as saying: "We paid the respects as an appropriate action as the Japanese, but we have no other intentions [and] the visits should not cause any problems."

Japan's Yasukuni Shrine honours 2.5 million who died in war, including 14 convicted and executed war criminals, which has led both China and South Korea to strongly object to visits made by politicians, including former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi.

The Yakushini Shrine was first erected in 1869 in Kudan, Tokyo and and contains more than 2,466,000 divinities, which are said to be the souls of the dead from wars including World War I and II.

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