China, South Korea irked over Yasukuni Shrine visit

China has condemned a visit by a group of Japanese officials and lawmakers to the Yasukuni Shrine.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the shrine, which honours Japan's war dead including convicted war criminals, is a symbolism of Japanese militarism.

He added that Tokyo must face up to history.

Nine vice ministers and special aides in the cabinet of Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida were among those visiting the shrine on Tuesday, which marked the 80th anniversary of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbour. In Japan, the date was December 8.

Kishida or cabinet ministers did not join the group visit.

Seoul also criticised the visit.

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The South Korean Foreign Ministry expressed "deep concern and regret" over the "large-scale" visit to Yasukuni shrine that "beautifies Japan’s colonial pillage and war of aggression". (Additional reporting by AP)

Artmotion China

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