South Korea’s foreign ministry said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe acted contrary to efforts to improve relations between the two nations by sending an offering to the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo.
The ministry also criticized Japanese cabinet ministers for paying respects to the war shrine. The gestures glorified Japan’s past aggression and ran counter to a pending summit between Japan, South Korea and China, the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
Abe sent an offering on Saturday, Japan’s Kyodo reported earlier.
Japan’s Justice Minister Mitsuhide Iwaki visited the shrine at the start of an annual autumn festival, Kyodo reported, citing the minister. Internal Affairs Minister Sanae Takaichi also planned to visit the shrine on Sunday, Kyodo said, without saying where it got the information.
The shrine commemorates millions of Japan’s war dead, including leaders convicted as Class A war criminals.
It’s just two weeks before the trilateral summit planned for Seoul.