Anchor: A group of Japanese lawmakers has paid tribute to the controversial Yasukuni war shrine on the second day of the autumn festival there on Tuesday. The visit, which comes a day after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a "masakaki" tree offering to the shrine, was met with backlash from Seoul.
Kim Bum-soo has more.
Report: The South Korean government has expressed regret over repeated visits to the controversial Yasukuni war shrine by Japanese politicians.
Shortly after Japanese lawmakers paid tribute at the shrine on Tuesday where Class-A war criminals are honored, Seoul's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Cho June-hyuck issued a statement.
He said South Korea is deeply concerned and disappointed by the Japanese government politicians' sending of a “masakaki” tree offering and a group visit to the site.
While not specifically discussing Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ritual offering to the shrine a day earlier, the spokesman noted that Yasukuni beautifies Japan's invasive wars in the past.
He urged Japanese politicians to gain the trust of neighboring countries by demonstrating with action, their humble reflection of the past.
A group of lawmakers from both the ruling and opposition camps visited the controversial site on the second day of the annual autumn festival at the shrine Tuesday morning.
The group has made visits to Yasukuni three times every year—during the spring and autumn festivals as well as on the August 15th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II.
Some members of the Japanese Cabinet are also expected to visit the shrine until Thursday when its autumn festival ends.
Located in central Tokyo, the Imperial Shrine of Yasukuni honors two-point-466 million Japanese war dead, including 14 Class-A criminals, such as Hideki Tojo, who was hanged by an Allied tribunal.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.