Memorializing dead soldiers during Japan’s WWII campaign, including 14 classified major war criminals, the Yasukuni shrine is regarded as a symbol of Japan’s imperialistic past by its neighbors, particularly China and Korea which suffered the most during Japan’s wartime aggressions.
Abe’s nationalist agenda in full light
The fact that Abe has timed his visit on the first anniversary of his second spell as prime minister in light of the recent deterioration of regional politics is hardly without any political intent.
With US Vice President Joe Biden’ East Asia tour falling short of its anticipated hope of mitigating the regional airspace crisis, the hawkish prime minister has resorted to the recent episode in Yasukuni to protest against China’s set-up of an airspace covering the disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku islands last November.
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