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Japan defense minister visits WWII shrine, outraging Chinese and Koreans

Inada's appearance at Yasukuni follows Abe's historic trip to Pearl Harbor

Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, front center, visits the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo Thursday.

TOKYO -- Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada visited the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo to pay her respects to the war dead Thursday, drawing irate criticisms from the Chinese and South Korean governments.

It was her first visit there since taking office in August. Inada is the first sitting defense chief known to have gone to the shrine, which honors Japan's battlefield victims of World War II alongside convicted war criminals, since August 2002.

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