Japan’s Leader Rejects Visit to War Shrine

tags: World War II, Japan




TOKYO — For a third time this year, Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, refused supporters’ calls to visit a controversial Tokyo war shrine on Thursday, sending a ceremonial offering instead in an apparent effort to avoid angering Asian neighbors including China.

Since taking office in December, the hawkish Mr. Abe has been closely watched to see if he makes potentially provocative displays of Japanese nationalism that could isolate his nation and undermine his own efforts to restore Japan’s stature in a region increasingly dominated by China. Before becoming prime minister, Mr. Abe had vowed to visit the shrine, called Yasukuni, as a show of what many analysts call his deeply held belief that Japan was not the aggressor during World War II....



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