By Zhao Wei,Sina English
The Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda urged cabinet ministers not to visit the Yasukuni Shrine, after the Land and transport minister Yuichiro Hata told reporters he intended to visit the shrine on August 15, according to Japan’s Kyodo News Agency.
Hata confirmed he will visit the shrine at a press conference on August 10, but added that he will not visit the shrine as a cabinet minister but as a citizen. "I am thinking of visiting it as a personal identity, as I've been visiting the Yasukuni shrine since childhood with my father and kept visiting it after I became a member of parliament," Hata said, when asked about a visit on the August 15 anniversary of Japan's World War II surrender.
Speaking at an evening news conference, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said when his administration came into power in September 2011, it was agreed that the prime ministers and his fellow ministers would "refrain from officially visiting the shrine". "I believe other ministers will observe the agreement," said Noda.