- Title: JAPAN: Taiwan's Lee to visit Tokyo's Yasukuni war shrine
- Date: 7th June 2007
- Summary: (BN02) TOKYO, JAPAN (JUNE 07, 2007) (REUTERS) FORMER TAIWAN PRESIDENT LEE TENG-FUI ARRIVING AT A PRESS CONFERENCE WIDE OF PRESS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) LEE TENG-HUI SAYING: "This visit is completely personal. Please don't think of anything political or historical." LEE AND HIS WIFE STANDING LEE LEAVING
- Embargoed: 22nd June 2007 13:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVAA3NM5FKK2B9O5RJDUMNDX3TD6
- Story Text: Former Taiwan president Lee Teng-hui, despised by Beijing for asserting the self-ruled island's sovereignty, said he would pay his respects at a Tokyo war shrine on Thursday (June 7) despite China's objections.
Lee's visit could cast a cloud over the recent thaw in Sino-Japanese relations, although he told a press conference before going that his visit to Yasukuni Shrine was a personal matter, not a political one.
Lee, 84, had said since arriving in Japan last week that he wanted to visit the shrine, seen by many in Asia as a symbol of Japan's militarism before and during World War Two.
The shrine honours millions of Japanese war dead -- among them soldiers from Taiwan and Korea who fought for Japan, their colonial ruler at the time -- but also some convicted war criminals including wartime prime minister Hideki Tojo.
Lee's older brother died fighting for the Japanese.
China had warned Japan that it risked harming relations by allowing Lee to visit the country, while Tokyo had said Lee's trip was just for tourism and should have no impact on ties with Beijing.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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