TOKYO, Jan. 1-- Japanese Internal Affairs Minister Yoshitaka Shindo on Wednesday visited the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine amid strong opposition against Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the notorious shrine on Dec. 26, according to Japan's Kyodo News.
The New Year's Day worship by Shindo to the shrine, which honors 14 class-A war criminals of the World War II and is considered as a symbol of Japan's past militarism, would trigger more anger from Japan's neighboring countries, especially from China and South Korea.
Shindo also visited the controversial shrine during its spring and autumn festivals and the anniversary of Japan's surrender in the WWII on Aug. 15.
The visit came after Abe's sudden worship on Dec. 26 which has drawn wide opposition. Abe's visit also "disappointed" it's key ally the United States.
Repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine by Japan's ministers and lawmakers have become a major obstacle for Japan to mend already strained ties with China and South Korea.
China has urged the Japanese leader to own up to the country's wrongdoings, correct it's mistakes and take concrete measures to atone for the damage done.