Advertisement

South Korea: Abe's Yasukuni offering of 'deep concern'

By
Elizabeth Shim
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers his speech during the memorial service for the war dead of World War II marking the 73rd anniversary of the Japanese surrender at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo on Wednesday. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers his speech during the memorial service for the war dead of World War II marking the 73rd anniversary of the Japanese surrender at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo on Wednesday. Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 15 (UPI) -- South Korea's foreign ministry expressed "deep concern" following Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's decision to make a ritual offering at Yasukuni Shrine, a memorial to Japan's war dead, including convicted war criminals.

Seoul said Wednesday leaders of the Japanese government and parliament were making ritual offerings at a shrine that glorified a history of colonial invasion and wars of aggression, Yonhap reported.

Advertisement

Japan colonized Korea from 1910 to 1945.

"The [South Korean] government urges Japanese political leaders to show sincere introspection and remorse regarding the past," Seoul's foreign ministry said.

Such an attitude could provide the foundation for a future-oriented Korea-Japan relationship, the ministry added.

NHK World reported Wednesday Abe marked the anniversary of the end of World War II with a ritual offering, made through ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Masahiko Shibayama, who visited the Tokyo shrine.

Ruling and opposition party politicians attended the shrine as a group on the day that is also a holiday of national liberation in South Korea.

The issue of Japan's wartime past was being raised in South Korea on Wednesday.

Labor and other civic organizations held a rally outside the Japanese consulate in Busan, and said they plan to erect a statue in honor of forced Korean laborers who worked in Japan's wartime industries, Yonhap reported.

The plans for the statue were scrapped earlier this year.

Latest Headlines