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Japanese minister's visit to controversial shrine regrettable: MOFA
Central News Agency
2014-01-01 10:44 PM
Taipei, Jan. 1 (CNA) Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) expressed regret Wednesday over a visit by Japanese Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications Yoshitaka Shindo to a controversial shrine in Tokyo that commemorates World War II criminals. In a statement, the ministry urged the Japanese government to avoid actions that would hurt the feelings of the people in neighboring countries. Shindo went to Yasukuni Shrine earlier in the day, following a visit there by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Dec. 26. It was Shindo's sixth visit the shrine since he took office on Dec. 26, 2012. In its statement, MOFA reiterated that history should not be forgotten. Taiwan hopes Japan's government and politicians will look at the facts of history and keep the historical lessons in mind to avoid actions that will hurt the feelings of the people in neighboring countries, the ministry said. Japan should seek friendly relations with its neighbors so that they can jointly promote regional peace and stability, MOFA urged. The controversial shrine honors Japanese soldiers who committed atrocities in China, Korea and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region during WWII. On Dec. 26, MFOA issued a statement in response to Abe's visit to the shrine, urging countries in the region to avoid actions that would further escalate tensions in the East China Sea. The tensions in the region mainly involve territorial disputes over the Diaoyutai Islands, which have been under Japan's administrative control since 1972 but are also claimed by Taiwan and China. (By Tang Pei-chun and Elizabeth Hsu)
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