Bruce Meyer-Kenny

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A girl receives a New Years blessing from a lion during celebrations at Yasukuni Shrine's New Year celebrations. A kiss from the lion is thought to bring good luck and a healthy life. Jan. 2 2007 Tokyo, Japan...Established in 1869 by the Meiji Emperor to commerate those who died in the Boshin War. The shrine now houses the souls or 'kami' of Japan's war dead including 14 A-class war criminals who were interned among the 2.5 million war dead in 1978. Visits to the shrine by Japanese Prime Ministers create tensions with Japan's Asian neighbors. The current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has not said if he will pay his repects at the shrine.   .(Photo by Bruce Meyer/2.0 Images)..............