By: By Elaine Hou, Central News Agency
Taipei, Aug. 15 (CNA) Taiwan expressed regret over a visit by a Japanese lawmaker to a controversial shrine for Japan’s war dead on behalf of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Saturday, the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in World War II. The Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo honors Japanese war dead, including executed Japanese World War II war criminals.
It is seen by several countries in Asia as a symbol of Japan’s wartime militarism. Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement of regret Saturday after Japanese lawmaker Koichi Hagiuda of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), also an aide to Abe, visited the shrine earlier in the day. The ministry said it hopes Japanese politicians will learn from history, reflect on Japan’s past actions and take into consideration the hurt feelings of the people in countries that suffered from Japanese aggression during the war.
It also called on Tokyo to promote and develop friendly relations with neighboring countries in an effort to maintain peace and stability in the region. Hagiuda said he paid respects to the souls of those who sacrificed their lives in the war and that he visited the shrine on behalf of Abe in his role as head of the LDP, foreign media reported.