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Thursday December 26, 2013 MYT 11:18:00 AM
Thursday December 26, 2013 MYT 12:03:16 PM
A Shinto priest (R) leads Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C) as he visits the controversial Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo on December 26, 2013, in a move Beijing condemned as "absolutely unacceptable". Abe described his visit, which is certain to roil already-troubled ties in East Asia, as a pledge against war and said it was not aimed at hurting feelings in China or South Korea. AFP PHOTO
TOKYO (AFP) - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday his visit to the controversial Yasukuni war shrine was a pledge that Japan would not go to war again and was not intended to hurt Chinese or South Koreans.
"I chose this day to report (to enshrined spirits) what we have done in the year since the administration launched and to pledge and determine that never again will people suffer in war," he told reporters at the shrine.
"I am aware that, because of misunderstandings, some people criticise a visit to Yasukuni shrine as an act of worshipping war criminals, but I made my visit to pledge to create an era where people will never suffer from catastrophe in war," Abe said.
"I have no intention at all to hurt the feelings of Chinese or South Korean people."
A Chinese foreign ministry official condemned his visit as "absolutely unacceptable to the Chinese people".
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