Japanese MPs fuel war shrine row

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Nearly 200 members of the Japanese parliament have visited a controversial war shrine, a day after Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi went there. The Yasukuni war shrine is seen by Japan's neighbours as a symbol of the country's World War II militarism.

The group, which includes leaders of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, visits the shrine regularly.

A meeting between the Chinese and Japanese foreign ministers to discuss a possible summit is now in doubt. China's Li Zhaoxing said the shrine visit had"severely damaged" relations between the two countries."The Chinese government and Chinese people express strong anger," he said in a statement on the ministry's website. A South Korean spokesman said on Monday that President Roh Moo-hyun was unlikely to meet Mr Koizumi for a summit later in the year.

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