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'40% of Japanese lawmakers visit Yasukuni'
Publication Date : 25-09-2013
About 42 per cent of Japanese parliamentarians visited the controversial Yasukuni shrine this year in the latest sign of Japan’s shift to the right, a Korean lawmaker said Monday.
Rep. In Jae-Keun of the main opposition Democratic Party unveilled the list of the 306 Japanese legislators. The numbers include drop-bys made in person and visits made by others on lawmakers’ behalf.
The list also includes at least 80 members of the Korea-Japan Parliamentarians’ Union, which consists of 146 Koreans and 258 Japanese and works to improve diplomatic relations between the two neighbours.
“The visits to the Yasukuni by these parliamentarians contradict the Korea-Japan Parliamentarians’ Union’s raison d’tre,” In said.
The shrine visits coincide with increasing uneasiness among Japan’s neighbors over the island nation’s perceived political shift towards conservatism since the inauguration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in December 2012. Abe has pursued an aggressive macroeconomic policy widely known as Abenomics and worked to increase the scope of the Japanese military’s activities, raising eyebrows in Seoul and Beijing.