Unfortunately, the fact that prominent politicians have (and likely will) continue to make a pilgrimage to Yasukuni on New Year's makes the situation very political rather than personal. Koreans and Chinese in particular see any Prime Minister or high ranking official who goes there as essentially thumbing his nose at Japan's Asian neighbors. Personally, I feel that it's just a way of pandering to political extremists. If it pisses off Korea and China, well, that's just gravy in the quest to get the right-wingers to rub their hands together with spiteful glee.
I don't miss the annual brouhaha over Yasukuni, whether it be the flurry of critical comments when prominent politicians actually visit it or the "will he or won't he" articles on whether or not the visit will actually occur. I don't think it was ever intended to play the part of a villainous place, and that the intention was never to be a point of contention with Japan's former adversaries.
*I'm not interested in playing a game of "who was worse" in World War II. Comments to that effect will not be replied to because I don't think anyone knows the depth and sophistication that went into the start of the war, let alone any of the actions that followed. If you want to go fight about this with someone, this is not the right place.