Japan: Candidate in Secret War Shrine Visit
SOURCE: NYT (8-5-06)
Shinzo Abe, the front-runner in the race to become the next prime minister, visited the Yasukuni Shrine war memorial in April, according to Japanese news reports. Mr. Abe, the chief cabinet secretary and a right-wing nationalist who is expected to succeed Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi when he retires next month, refused to confirm news of his visit, which was reported by all the major news media. The reports of the visit drew criticism from South Korean and Chinese officials, who regard the shrine, where Class A war criminals are deified, as a symbol of Japanese militarism.