Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s visit to a nationalist war memorial here Monday drew immediate and fierce criticism from Asian countries, threatening to isolate Japan in the region and worsen its already strained relations with China.
Beijing condemned the visit to the memorial, the Yasukuni shrine, as “a serious provocation to the Chinese people” and canceled bilateral talks on the North Korean nuclear crisis that had been scheduled for Monday. South Korea also announced that it would cancel or postpone a trip scheduled for December to Japan by President Roh Moo Hyun, citing the visit.
The visit also drew protests from Taiwan and Singapore, both of which suffered under Japanese militarism.
See also: Editorial: Asian diplomacy on Asahi Shimbun.