Japan's Abe: Continue to gain understanding of his Yasukuni visit

TOKYO Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:51am EDT

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo December 26, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Toru Hanai

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday that he will continue to explain his visit to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine for war dead to gain understanding from neighboring Asian countries.

Last December Abe visited Yasukuni Shrine, which is seen by critics as a symbol of Japan's past militarism, sparking anger from China and South Korea.

China and South Korea have repeatedly expressed anger in the past over Japanese politicians' visits to the shrine, where Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal are honored along with war dead.

Abe made the remarks at a joint news conference after a summit meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Dominic Lau)

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