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A file photo of Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo. Photo: AFP (AFP)
A file photo of Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo. Photo: AFP
(AFP)

Japan, China and South Korea to skip finance talks amid rows

Earlier China, South Korea had criticised Japan after more than 160 lawmakers visited Yasukuni Shrine this week

Tokyo: An annual meeting of finance officials from China, Japan and South Korea will not take place this year, Japanese officials said on Friday, amid tension over Japanese lawmakers’ visits to a shrine for war dead and rival claims over small islands.

China and South Korea criticised Japan after more than 160 lawmakers visited Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine this week. That followed a symbolic offering made by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the shrine and visits by several ministers.

Three-way meetings of finance ministers and central bank governors have been held in recent years on the sidelines of the Asian Development Bank’s annual meeting in May.

But China, which serves as chair this year, has informed Japan no meetings need to be held this time since as there were no urgent issue to discuss, the government officials said.

Homage paid by Japanese politicians at the shrine, which honours 14 leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal along with Japan’s war dead, angers China and South Korea, where resentment of Japan’s war-time aggression runs deep.

Abe told a parliament committee that South Korea and China were important partners for Japan and he did not want the shrine controversy to become a diplomatic or political issue.

Japan is also locked in a bitter territorial dispute with China over a group of East China Sea islands, called the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

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