(VOVworld) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Yasukuni war shrine on Thursday on his first anniversary of taking office. The event stirred sharp rebuke from China and the Republic of Korea, while the US expressed disappointment because the visit has increased tension in the region.
Following criticism from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Foreign Minister Wang Yi summoned the Japanese Ambassador in Beijing to deliver a diplomatic note expressing strong opposition.
The Japanese Embassy in Beijing confirmed that a meeting between Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Liu Yandong and a visiting delegation of Japanese politicians was canceled.
Seoul also expressed anger at Abe’s visit to the controversial shrine. South Korea’s Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Yoo Jinryong, labeled the visit “an anachronistic act” that “not only damages the ties between the Republic of Korea and Japan but also fundamentally damages stability and cooperation in Northeast Asia.”
A statement released by the US Embassy in Tokyo took note of Abe’s expression of remorse, but said “the United States hopes that Japan and its neighbors will find constructive ways to deal with sensitive issues from the past.”