Sept. 20 (UPI) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un's visit to sacred Mount Paektu in North Korea is raising concerns in Japan that the two sides are engaging anti-Japanese sentiment to realize common goals.
Criticism of the visit came from conservative and progressive Japanese newspapers on Thursday.
The relatively right-wing Nikkei reported Mount Paektu is a symbol of anti-Japanese movements in North Korea. North Koreans are taught founder Kim Il Sung organized guerrilla fighters from the mountain, and that his son, Kim Jong Il, was born on Mount Paektu.
Kim Jong Il was born in the Soviet Union.
"The intention [of the visit] was to strengthen solidarity through an easy attack on historical issues with Japan," the Nikkei stated Thursday.
Conservative newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun said history was being used to build consensus between the two Korean leaders.
"Mount Paektu was the base for Kim Il Sung's anti-Japanese struggle, and the 'holy ground for revolution' that is also the birthplace of Chairman Kim Jong Il," the Yomiuri stated, adding North Korea was using the site for propaganda purposes.
"President Moon's visit to Mount Paektu is expected to cause a ripple," the Yomiuri added.
Progressive Asahi Shimbun also took a critical approach to the visit.
"Mount Paektu has been considered holy grounds for the Korean people since ancient times, but the visit could cause controversy in South Korea because it is a symbol North Korea utilizes to strengthen its own system," the Asahi said.
Moon's visit to Mount Paektu came the same day Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was re-elected as head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party -- virtually guaranteeing his hold on power for three more years.
NHK reported Thursday Abe wants to focus on constitutional revision and holding a summit with the North Koreans regarding the abduction of Japanese citizens.
Abe has yet to meet with Kim.