Abe Skips Visit to Yasukuni Shrine, Makes Ritual Offering
Tokyo, Aug. 15 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stopped short of visiting Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo and instead made a "tamagushi" ritual offering at his own expense on Thursday, the 74th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II.
Ministers of Abe's cabinet also skipped the anniversary visit to the Shinto shrine, which honors Class-A war criminals along with the war dead.
He apparently gave consideration to Japan's improving relations with China ahead of President Xi Jinping's planned visit to Japan as a state guest next spring, as the Asian neighbor regards the shrine as a symbol of Japan's past militarism.
Abe last visited Yasukuni Shrine in December 2013.
On Thursday, Tomomi Inada, special adviser to Abe as president of Liberal Democratic Party, visited Yasukuni Shrine to pay the tamagushi fee on behalf of him. It was the seventh consecutive year that Abe has made the ritual offering on the Aug. 15 war-end anniversary.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]