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Japanese PM sends offering to notorious Yasukuni shrine, 2 cabinet members visit

Xinhua | Updated: 2022-08-15 14:33

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida sent a ritual offering to the controversial Yasukuni shrine on Monday, the 77th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II.

Kishida sent the offering to the shrine, a symbol of Japan's past militarism, in his capacity as leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

While Kishida has not visited the notorious shrine in person since becoming prime minister last October, two of his cabinet members, economic security minister Sanae Takaichi and reconstruction minister Kenya Akiba, both holding newly-assigned ministerial portfolios, paid homage on Monday at the shrine that honors convicted war criminals along with the other war dead.

Koichi Hagiuda, the chairman of the LDP's Policy Research Council, and former Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi, also visited the shrine on Monday.

Their visits followed that of industry minister Yasutoshi Nishimura on Saturday.

The war-linked shrine in central Tokyo has long-been a source of diplomatic friction with Japan's neighbors as it honors convicted war criminals, including 14 Class-A convicted war criminals.

Both visits in person and ritual offerings that are sent to the infamous shrine by Japanese leaders, officials and lawmakers have consistently sparked strong criticism from China, South Korea and other countries brutally invaded by Japan before and during World War II.

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