Tokyo war shrine starts to promote understanding between China and Korea

Tokyo war shrine starts to promote understanding between China and Korea
Tokyo war shrine starts to promote understanding between China and Korea

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni Shrine have prompted outrage in South Korea and China, both of which were brutally occupied by the Japanese Imperial Army up until the end of World War II.

Critics say the shrine, which honors about 2.5 million people who died fighting for Japan, including executed war criminals, glorifies the country's militaristic past.

Leaders of the two countries have refused to meet with Koizumi since his last visit to Yasukuni in October, the AP reports.

The shrine started to hand out the Chinese and Korean promotional brochures late last month, said a shrine official who spoke on condition of anonymity, under shrine protocol. The shrine already publishes English and Japanese-language pamphlets.