Le Pen to visit Japan, Yasukuni shrine
French National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen leads a delegation of far-right European politicians to Japan this week where they plan to visit Tokyo's controversial Yasukuni shrine to war dead.
When asked about the visit to the shrine, which honours 2.5 million Japanese war dead including 14 top war criminals from World War II, the party's deputy leader Bruno Gollnisch said "bad war criminals are the ones who lost."
Other Asian countries view the shrine as a symbol of Japan's wartime aggression.
However Gollnisch said: "We are not going to justify the imperialist policies of Japan 70 years ago. We are going to pay honour to the courage of the unfortunate soldiers who were in the enemy camp."
The delegation will include representatives of the British National Party (BNP), Austria's Freedom Party (FPOe), Hungary's Jobbik, and the Vlaams Belang party of Belgium.
The delegation begin their visit on Thursday, and plan to visit the Yasukuni shrine on Saturday. They are to wrap up their trip on August 18.
The European politicians also plan to meet with members of Japan's far-right Issuikai, said Gollnisch.
© 2010 AFP