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Newly appointed Defense Minister Tomomi Inada on Thursday refused to clarify her position on sensitive historical issues, insisting she is “not in a position” to express her views on Japan’s wars against China and the Allied powers in the 1930s and ’40s.

She also declined to clarify during a group interview and at separate news conferences whether she will continue her regular visits to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine, saying it is a private, emotional matter. Yasukuni is often regarded as a symbol of Japan’s wartime militarism.

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