Two Japanese cabinet ministers said Friday they were planning to visit Tokyo's controversial war shrine next week, in a move likely to inflame sometimes testy relations with neighbouring countries.
The proposed visits would be the first by ministers in the ruling Democratic Party of Japan since it came to power in 2009, and contravene the wishes of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda who, like his two predecessors, has asked his cabinet to stay away.
Land and transport minister Yuichiro Hata told reporters he intended to go to Yasukuni, which many believe is the repository of the souls of 2.5 million dead -- including 14 leading war criminals -- and is often seen as a symbol of Japan's past aggression.
The government of Japan has bestowed one of that nation's highest honors on a Japanese-American, a former U.S. Soldier and World War II veteran, for his work furthering relationships between the Japanese and Americans. (army.mil )
This Monday, members of the seminal metal band X Japan were in Odaiba rubbing shoulders with the likes of Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga and AKB48′s Yuko Oshima. The catch? They were all made out of wax. (Japan Times )