Emperor Hirohito expressed strong displeasure in 1988 over Yasukuni Shrine's decision in the late 1970s to include Class-A war criminals on the list of people honored there, sources said Thursday, citing a memorandum by a former Imperial Household Agency official.

"That's why I have not visited the shrine since," the Emperor, known posthumously as Showa, told former Imperial Household Agency Grand Steward Tomohiko Tomita, according to a memorandum written by Tomita that was obtained by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

The sources said the Emperor was referring to his decision not to visit after the shrine decided in 1978 to honor the 14 Class-A war criminals, confirming Thursday's Nikkei article.