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South Korea’s ambassador to Japan called Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s repeated visits to Yasukuni Shrine a “nightmare” — the sole issue damaging what could have been more amicable ties between the two neighbors.

But Ra Jong Yil’s nightmare may not be over even after Koizumi steps down in September, when his term as Liberal Democratic Party president expires, if his successor also visits the shrine, a development both South Korea and China would oppose.

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