Abe, Other Japanese Ministers Skip Visit to Yasukuni Shrine

Politics

Tokyo, April 23 (Jiji Press)--Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and all other Japanese cabinet ministers refrained from Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine during this year's three-day spring festival through Tuesday at the war-linked Shinto shrine.

Abe last visited Yasukuni Shrine in December 2013, about a year after he was back in power. But he continues to offer sacred "masakaki" trees during the spring and autumn festivals and make "tamagushi-ryo" donations to the shrine on the Aug. 15 anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II.

In 2017, then internal affairs minister Sanae Takaichi paid a visit to the shrine during the spring festival. Since then, none of the Abe cabinet's ministers have visited the shrine, which China and South Korea call a symbol of Japan's past militarism.

Meanwhile, some 70 lawmakers, including those from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the opposition Democratic Party for the People, visited there on Tuesday.

The visit by the pro-Yasukuni parliamentary group members were joined by Yasuhiro Ozato, state minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, Yoshihiko Isozaki, state minister of economy, trade and industry, and eight other officials from the government.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press