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Monday, August 13, 2007 10:49 pm

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Abe on Yasukuni: ‘To pay homage or not is up to the individual’

After all the 16 members of the Japanese Cabinet announced they would not visit Tokyo’s controversial Yasukuni Shrine on the August 15 anniversary of Japan’s surrender in the World War II, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe re-confirmed Monday his stance that visiting the shrine is a personal matter, not political, the Sankei Shimbun reports.

“Paying homage at the Yasukuni temple, or not, is up to the individual, even for a Cabinet member,” Abe commented. “I expect everybody to use their own discretion.“

The Prime Minister himself has refused to reveal whether or not he will visit the controversial shrine where several Japanese A-class war criminals lay buried, but a source close to the Prime Minister said last week Abe had no intention of paying homage to the shrine, according to a Kyodo News report.

Abe, who was previously be a regular worshipper at the shrine, has not went there since he took office as Prime Minister in September 2006.

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