Japanese Lawmakers Visit Controversial Tokyo War Shrine

One hundred sixty lawmakers in Japan prayed in Yasukuni Shrine, which is considered to be a hypersensitive location in Sino-Japan relations. Japan’s Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda was not among the visitors. Thus, the bottom has not been reached yet. Still, there is a question of how China’s leaders will respond, since it happened right before President Hu Jintao’s visit to Japan. From AP:

…The 160 lawmakers, including eight top government officials and their assistants, prayed at the Yasukuni Shrine, which reveres 2.5 million war dead, including executed war criminals, marking an annual spring festival, said organizer Yoshinobu Shimamura, a former agricultural minister. Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda did not visit.

The visits have long strained Tokyo’s relations with Asian neighbors who say the action defends Japan’s pre-1945 militarism…

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak was here Monday for talks with Fukuda. Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit is scheduled for May 6-10, the first by a Chinese president in a decade…

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