SKorean gets 4 years for Tokyo shrine blast

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TOKYO: A South Korean man was sentenced to four years in prison Tuesday for detonating a homemade pipe bomb at a controversial Tokyo war shrine. During the trial Jeon Chang-Han, 28, reportedly admitted illegally entering the shrine and detonating the bomb in a case that highlighted lingering tensions over Japan’s harsh colonial rule of the Korean peninsula from 1910-45. “The court handed down a four-year prison sentence with no suspended term,” a Tokyo District Court spokesman told Agence France-Presse, without elaborating. Prosecutors had demanded a five-year sentence, claiming the explosion was an act of terrorism, according to Jiji Press. Yasukuni Shrine, which honors millions of Japan’s war dead including several senior military and political figures convicted of war crimes, has been targeted in the past by activists. Visits by senior Japanese politicians to the shrine routinely draw an angry reaction from China and South Korea, which view them as an insult and painful reminder of Japan’s militarist history. Presiding judge Kazunori Karei said the explosion was “highly dangerous and malicious”, Jiji reported. Jeon left Japan after the blast, in which no one was hurt, but was arrested when he returned in early December — reportedly carrying two kilograms (4.4 pounds) of gunpowder.

AFP

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