Abe's visit to Yasukuni enrages neighbor countriesUpdated: 2013-12-27 PM 10:41:25 (KST)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Yasukuni war shrine has enraged the Korean government to the point that it is postponing all diplomatic exchanges with Tokyo.
Those include bilateral national security policy meetings, strategic talks and military exchanges.
The Korean government also announced that it would be returning weapons and ammunition that Japan had supplied to Korean peacekeepers in South Sudan, this after the Japanese government excessively publicized the fact that it had.
Seoul's foreign ministry on Thursday reacted strongly and swiftly to Abe's visit, expressing "deep regret and anger," as did other countries.
China, one of the major victims of Japan's past wartime aggression, strongly condemned the visit saying it glorified Japan's history of militaristic aggression.
The Japanese government even went so far as to advise Japanese citizens living in China to watch out for any possible retribution amid anti-Japanese sentiment in the nation.
The United States, one of Japan's closest allies, also expressed disappointment over Abe's Yasukuni visit.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry AND Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had advised Abe during a visit to Japan in October to avoid visiting the war shrine.
Reiterating sentiments expressed by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, the State Department said Washington was disappointed Abe had made the trip, knowing full well ahead of time that it would have severe diplomatic consequences.
Abe visited the war shrine to mark his first year in office.
In doing so, he became the first Japanese premier since 2006 to do so.
The Yasukuni shrine honors 2-and-a-half million war dead most of them soldiers, but it also includes several war criminals.
It is viewed by Japan's neighbors as a symbol of Tokyo's aggression during World War II.
Shin Se-min, Arirang News.
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