Japan’s new Defense Minister, Tomomi Inada will make a three-day visit to Djibouti, where the Air and Ground self-defense forces have set up a base to fight against piracy off Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden since 2009, Japan’s defense ministry said on Friday.
Her trip aims to encourage Self-Defense Forces members who are engaged in an antipiracy mission off Somalia, according to the ministry.
Inada, known for a close ally of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a supporter of revamping Japan’s pacifist constitution, regularly visited the controversial Yasukuni Shrine on the Aug. 15 anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II before assuming the post of defense minister last week following Abe’s cabinet reshuffle on Aug.3.
So far, one minister of Abe’s cabinet has visited the shrine since last week’s cabinet reshuffle. New reconstruction minister Masahiro Imamura on Thursday visited the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors millions of war dead as well as 14 convicted Class-A war criminals of World War II.
Yasukuni Shrine is regarded as a symbol of the past Japanese militarism. Visits to the infamous shrine by Japanese leaders and officials have sparked strong criticism from it neighbors and other Asian countries.