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ANALYSIS – Shinzo Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo last week angered many – friends and foe alike.

Predictably, China for whom the men that are honoured as men that died for the sacred Japanese nation in the second world war are nothing more than war criminals.

The same is of course true for South Korea with whom Tokyo is allied with, in fear of the rise of China.

And on that score, there is also Vietnam.

So, what was America’s position, as the Japanese internal affairs minister made the trip to the house of the dead souls yesterday?

Well, the state department has urged calm and called for dialogue.

Those who are predicting future conflict in Asia between China and the US may point to such visits by senior Japanese ministers to the site denounced by the world – that includes China – as the starting point for a conflict that could embroil all the key powers of South Asia.