T O K Y O — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Thursday his visit to the controversial Yasukuni war shrine was a pledge that Japan would not go to war again and was not intended to hurt Chinese or South Koreans.
“I chose this day to report to enshrined spirits what we have done in the year since the administration launched and to pledge and determine that never again will people suffer in war,” he told reporters at the shrine.
“I have no intention at all to hurt the feelings of Chinese or South Korean people. Like many prime ministers who have visited Yasukuni after the war, I wish to continue friendly relations with China and South Korea, which are important and benefit national interests,” he said.
Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters the government hoped Abe’s visit would not further affect ties.