Seven Cabinet ministers went to Yasukuni Shrine on Friday morning to pay homage to Japan’s war dead. One more Cabinet member was expected to visit the shrine later the same day and four other Cabinet ministers visited the shrine before Friday.

Health and Welfare Minister Junichiro Koizumi was the first minister to visit the shrine Friday when he showed up at 8 a.m. “Today’s peace is based on the precious sacrifice of people who dedicated their lives to the nation,” Koizumi said. “As a state minister and health and welfare minister, I paid tribute with respect.”

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