The Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, has sparked outrage in China and Korea by visiting the Yasukuni Shrine which houses the remains of Japanese war criminals from World War Two as well as the remains of other military personal from the war.
The Yasukuni Shrine is seen as a symbol of Japan’s past aggression and nationalistic tendency. The Chinese government has condemned the visit by saying it is “absolutely unacceptable to the Chinese people,” and has demanded the Japanese government to “reflect on its history of aggression.” The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang continued “The Chinese government expresses strong outrage and protest and solemnly condemns Japanese leaders ruthlessly trampling the feelings of the Chinese people and people of other war-affected Asian countries and bluntly challenging historical justice and human conscience,”
The Koreans have called the visit anachronistic and have said it will hurt Japanese-Korean relations. While the United States has said it is disappointed by the actions of Shinzo Abe.
China and Korea suffered tremendously during World War Two at the hand of the Imperial Japanese Army. China has for a long time felt that the Japanese Government has not apologised properly or done enough to atone for what happened.
The visit comes at a time when relations between the China, Korea and Japan are considerable strained and on the day the Chinese mark the 120th anniversary of Mao Ze Dong’s birth.