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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 August 2006, 09:55 GMT 10:55 UK
In pictures: Yasukuni visit

Prime Minister Koizumi follows a Shinto priest into the Yasukuni shrine

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has paid a visit to the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo on the anniversary of the country's surrender in World War II.

Japanese people pray at the shrine on the anniversary of the World War II surrender

This is Mr Koizumi's sixth visit to the shrine, which commemorates Japan's 2.5 million war dead.

An elderly Japanese man in military uniform blows a trumpet to pay respects to the war dead

Visits to the shrine are controversial because fourteen convicted Class A war criminals, including war-time prime minister General Hideki Tojo, are enshrined there.

A Japanese veteran in navy uniform holds an Imperial flag

Former and serving military personnel came to the shrine to pay their respects to the dead.

Young Japanese men in black combat outfits march into the shrine

Yasukuni has also come to serve as a focus for people who want to revise attitudes to Japan's war-time history.

A protester stamps on an Imperial flag during a demonstration in Hong Kong

Mr Koizumi's visit sparked angry protests, both diplomatic and public, from Japan's neighbours, who had warned the prime minister against going.

Taiwanese protesters holding signs at the Yasukuni shrine

As Taiwanese protesters demonstrated outside Yasukuni, China and South Korea summoned Japanese ambassadors to issue formal protests.

South Korean protesters in Seoul, with signs reading: "No, history distortion; Yes, East Asia peace."

In South Korea, around 3,000 demonstrators holding placards protested near the Japanese embassy in Seoul.






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