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One year ago, a diplomatic row erupted over Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine on Aug. 13 — two days before the anniversary of Japan’s surrender ending World War II — in the face of protests from China and South Korea.

This summer, things are quieter at the Tokyo shrine, which honors Japan’s military war dead as well as 14 wartime leaders convicted as Class-A war criminals by the Allied-led international tribunal. This is because Koizumi, who went to the shrine in April, promised not to return again this year.

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