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Japan minister's visit to war shrine sparks controversy

Koji Sasahara / AP

Doves are released in prayer of perpetual peace by worshippers at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2012. Japan marked the 67th anniversary of its World War II surrender with a somber memorial led by its emperor and other commemorations. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Issei Kato / Reuters

A man dressed as a Japanese imperial army soldier stands at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo August 15, 2012, on the 67th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II.

Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP - Getty Images

Japanese Land and Transport Minister Yuichiro Hata (L) and fellow lawmakers visit the controversial Yasukuni shrine to honor the dead on the 67th anniversary of Japan's surrender from World War II, in Tokyo on Wednesday.

Reuters reports: A Japanese cabinet member paid homage at a controversial shrine for war dead on Wednesday -- the 67th anniversary of Tokyo's defeat in World War Two -- a move likely to further strain relations with China and South Korea.

Bitter memories of Japanese militarism run deep in China and South Korea and, despite close economic ties, relations with Beijing and Seoul have become increasingly fraught recently.

Bickering over rival territorial claims to rocky, uninhabited islands are the latest sign of how the region has yet to resolve differences over its past. Continue reading the full story.

Jason Lee / Reuters

Protesters hold a Chinese national flag and banners reading "Japan get out of Diaoyu islands" and "declare war against Japan" during an anti-Japan protest to mark the 67th anniversary of Japan's defeat in World War Two, outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing August 15, 2012.