PYONGYANG, April 26 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Wednesday slammed Japanese rightwing politicians for paying tribute to the Yasukuni Shrine, a symbol of militarism in Japan.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering and about 30 lawmakers of Japan's National Diet, the country's bicameral legislature, paid their respects to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine last week, a move the DPRK said was a blatant challenge to justice and peace.
"This is a total denial of the blood-stained past and an act that can never be justified with any pretext or excuse," the Korean Committee on Measures for the Sexual Slavery for Japanese Army and Drafting Victims said in a statement.
The Yasukuni Shrine that honors 14 Class-A convicted war criminals among 2.5 million Japanese war dead from World War II is predominantly regarded as a symbol of Japan's past militarism.
Japanese ultra-rightwing politicians usually visit the war-linked shrine during its spring and autumn festivals and on Aug. 15, the day on which Japan surrendered at the end of WWII in 1945, sparking strong condemnation from neighboring countries victimized by Japan's past militarism.
Japanese rightwing politicians aim to "reverse the crime-woven past, instill the frantic view on Japanese subjects and militarism into all the Japanese nationals, including the new generation and thus hurl them into the path of aggression against humanity," the statement said.
Japan annexed Korea in 1910 and had enslaved the Koreans until it was defeated in 1945.