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When U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel came to Tokyo in October, the pair paid an unexpected visit to a place considered neutral political ground in Chiyoda Ward.

No doubt the two were sending an indirect but unquestionably clear message to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by laying flowers at the Chidorigafuchi cemetery: don’t go to Yasukuni Shrine and stir up war-related anger in East Asia.

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