Abe Makes Ritual Offering to Yasukuni, to Skip Visit

Politics

Tokyo, April 21 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a ritual offering of a "masakaki" tree stand to war-related Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on Sunday, the first day of the Shinto shrine's three-day spring festival.

He offered the sacred tree under his name with the title of prime minister.

Abe, who is scheduled to leave on a tour of Europe and the United States on Monday, is unlikely to pay a visit to the shrine in Chiyoda Ward in the Japanese capital during the festival period until Tuesday, apparently in consideration of China at a time when the relationship between Tokyo and Beijing continues to improve.

Abe hopes to invite Chinese President Xi Jinping to Japan in late June, when a summit of the Group of 20 advanced and emerging economies is set to take place. On the sidelines of the June 28-29 summit in the western Japan city of Osaka, Abe aims hold a bilateral meeting with Xi.

The shrine is regarded as a symbol of Japan's past militarism by China and South Korea as it honors Class-A World War II criminals among the war dead.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press