SEOUL, South Korea expressed regret Tuesday that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida sent an offering to a war shrine seen as a symbol of Japan's militaristic past and some Cabinet members paid a visit there.
Japanese media reported that Kishida sent the offering to the Yasukuni Shrine earlier in the day on the occasion of an annual fall festival, with top government officials, including Economy Minister Yoshitaka Shindo and Industry Minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, visiting the shrine to pay respects.
The shrine honors Japan's war dead, including 14 Class A war criminals from World War II. Neighboring countries like South Korea and China view visits to the shrine by Japanese leaders as an attempt to glorify the country's militaristic past.
"The government expresses deep disappointment and regret that responsible Japanese leaders again sent offerings or repeatedly paid respects to the Yasukuni Shrine that enshrines the war criminals and glorifies Japan's past war aggression," ministry spokesperson Lim Soo-suk said in a press briefing.
"We urge the responsible Japanese leaders to squarely face up to history and show through action a humble reflection and genuine repentance for the past."
Source: Yonhap News Agency