New York

28 December 2013

Note to Correspondents

In response to questions from journalists, the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General has the following to say:

The Secretary-General is aware of the visit by the Prime Minister of Japan to the Yasukuni shrine, as well as of a strong reaction to it by China and the Republic of Korea.  The Secretary-General has consistently stated that the countries in Northeast Asia are important partners for the United Nations whose contribution is significant in shaping our future.

It is highly regrettable that tensions from the past are still plaguing the region. The Secretary-General has been consistent in urging the countries in the region to come to a common view and understanding of their shared history. He stresses the need to be sensitive to the feelings of others, especially memory of victims, and focus on building mutual trust and stronger partnership. Leaders bear special responsibility in that regard, as the region should strive to be forward-looking and harmonious.