15th August 2022 – (Seoul) South Korea on Monday expressed regret over Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida sending a ritual offering to the notorious war-linked Yasukuni Shrine, seen as a symbol of the militaristic and colonial past of Japan.
The South Korean foreign ministry said in a statement that it expresses deep disappointment and regret over the fact that leaders of Japan once again sent offerings to and paid respect at the Yasukuni Shrine, which glorifies Japan’s war of aggression and enshrines war criminals.
The South Korean government strongly urged the leaders of Japan to squarely face history and demonstrate through action their humble reflection and sincere remorse for Japan’s past affairs.
The Japanese premier sent the offering earlier in the day on the occasion of the 77th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II and the Korean Peninsula’s liberation from Japan’s 1910-45 colonial rule.
While Kishida has not visited the controversial shrine in person since becoming prime minister in October last year, some of Japanese cabinet members paid homage at the shrine on Monday.
The Yasukuni Shrine honors 14 Class-A convicted war criminals among 2.5 million Japanese war dead from World War II.
Visits and ritual offerings made by Japanese officials to the infamous shrine have consistently sparked criticism and hurt the feelings of South Korea and other countries brutalized by Japan during the war.