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If Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meant what he said about the “power of reconciliation” on his Dec. 27 visit to Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, he should sack Defense Minister Tomomi Inada who visited Yasukuni Shrine two days later. If he does nothing, then his visit will be reduced to an empty public relations stunt devoid of sincerity.

Ever since he was rebuked by the United States for visiting Yasukuni in 2013, Abe has avoided the shrine, which honors Class-A war criminals along with Japan’s war dead, but has regularly sent a masakaki (sacred tree) as an offering. First lady Akie Abe has also visited, fueling speculation that her husband connived in Inada’s recent visit.

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