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|Tuesday, August 07, 2001, updated at 13:47(GMT+8)|
Tanaka to Respect Koizumi's Decision on YasukuniForeign Minister Makiko Tanaka said Tuesday she will respect Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's decision on whether to go through with his planned visit next week to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, which honors war dead and Class A war criminals.
''I have fully explained to the prime minister my thoughts and what the neighboring countries are saying, and I also told our neighbors what the premier thinks,'' said Tanaka, who has urged Koizumi to cancel the trip out of concern it may dampen Japan's relations with China and South Korea.
''He is currently thinking carefully over the matter, and I think we have entered a stage when we should respect his decision,'' the foreign minister told a press conference.
Although Tanaka earlier appeared adamant about trying to prevent Koizumi from making the controversial visit, she said, ''It is an issue that comes down to the principles of each individual.''
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