Seoul cancels summit over Yasukuni visits
South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung Se has canceled his scheduled trip to Japan this week, a South Korean Foreign Ministry official said Monday in the wake of controversial visits by members of the Cabinet to war-linked Yasukuni Shrine.
An official said the visits to the Shinto shrine in Tokyo, which is widely viewed as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism, took place against Seoul’s wishes and has soured the atmosphere for bilateral talks.
Yun, who had planned to hold his first bilateral talks with counterpart Fumio Kishida during a two-day visit to Tokyo from Friday, abandoned the plan after the visit by three ministers to Yasukuni over the weekend and a ritual offering — but no trip — to the shrine by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Abe made an offering of a “masakaki” tree, traditionally used in Shinto religious rituals, with his name written below his title of prime minister.