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Fashion model Junko Amo made headlines on Aug. 15, 2002, when she initiated a visit to controversial Yasukuni Shrine with a group of some 180 people she met via 2channel, Japan’s biggest Internet forum.

Amo, now 35, said she developed strong feelings for the shrine after visiting Okinawa in her early 20s and read accounts left by members of the Himeyuri Gakutotai (Lily Corps), a nursing unit for the Imperial Japanese Army, who died or committed suicide during the battle of Okinawa in 1945.

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