The Korean government has been quick to criticize a Japanese minister for visiting a controversial war shrine, calling it a big step in the wrong direction.
Japan's minister for internal affairs, Yoshitaka Shindo, paid his respect at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo during a memorial ceremony earlier on this Saturday.
A matter of hours after getting word of his visit, Seoul's foreign ministry issued a strongly-worded statement saying the move constitutes a head-on challenge to Japan's neighbors. that suffered under Tokyo's past wrongdoings as well as to the international community.
The ministry went on to say that Japanese politicians should make efforts to mend Korea-Japan ties through humble retrospection of their history.
The Yasukuni shrine, which honors more than a dozen convicted war criminals along with Japan's war dead, is seen as a symbol of Japan's past imperialism by Korea and China.