NHK reported on its 10:00 a.m. news program that Defense Minister Inada visited Yasukuni Shrine this morning for the first time since assuming her current post. Regarding the capacity in which she made the visit, Inada told reporters afterward that she wrote “Defense Minister Tomomi Inada” in the visitor’s registry. “It means that Tomomi Inada, who is the defense minister, paid her respects as a citizen of this country. I made an offering using my own money.” Inada added: “The president of the country that dropped the atomic bomb visited Hiroshima this year, and Prime Minister Abe expressed condolences at Pearl Harbor. I paid homage at the shrine in the hope of building peace for Japan and the world from a future-oriented perspective.” In response to a question from a reporter about the possibility of China and South Korea reacting sharply to her visit to Yasukuni, Inada said: “I believe that people will understand the act of expressing respect and condolences to those who dedicated their lives to their country no matter what their historical views are and whether they are friends or foes.”
All commercial networks aired similar reports in their noon news programs. NTV quoted a source connected to the Defense Ministry as expressing concern that Inada’s visit to Yasukuni will undermine Japan’s efforts to promote defense exchanges with China and South Korea. South Korea’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs and National Defense expressed displeasure at Inada’s visit to the shrine.