Japan prime minister says door open to talks with China, Korea, offers no fresh overtures

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he wants to explain to leaders in China and South Korea about his visits to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honors the country's war dead.

Abe said Monday there are no plans for summit talks but he hopes the leaders can meet to help resolve antagonisms over territorial disputes and historical issues. He made the comments after making a new year's visit to the Grand Shrine of Ise, in western Japan.

China and South Korea have reacted angrily to Abe's visit in late December to the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors war criminals along with others killed in wars.

Abe has said Japan should never wage war again, though he favors strengthening the military and revising the country's pacifist constitution.