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Japan, South Korea blame each other on WWII anniversary (3)

(Xinhua)

09:40, August 16, 2012

According to the accounts, the event comprising 40 swimmers was to commemorate the anniversary of South Korea's independence from Japan's occupation during 1910-1945, ending with Japan's surrender at the end of World War II 67 years ago.

Visits by two Japanese cabinet ministers to a controversial war shrine in Tokyo on Wednesday also heightened tensions between the two sides, with a South Korean ministry official calling the visits, the first of their kind under the current Democratic Party of Japan leadership, "truly regrettable" and an "irresponsible act. "

Seoul urged Japan to consider the feelings of the countries who had suffered under Japan's past brutal rule and aggression.

"We urge responsible Japanese politicians to face up to history, " the official was quoted as saying.

The Yasukuni Shrine, which honors some 2.5 million Japanese war dead, including 14 major war criminals, is seen as a symbol of Japan's past militarism.

At a ceremony to mark the 67th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II, Noda on Wednesday vowed Japan would remain a peaceful nation.

"Japan, as a member of the international society, renews its pledge to ceaselessly seek the realization of international peace, " the Japanese premiere said.

"Japan caused considerable damage and pain to people in many countries, in particular Asian countries. I express deep remorse and offer condolences to the victims and their relatives," Noda said.
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