Abe Skips Visit to Yasukuni Shrine during Autumn Festival
Tokyo, Oct. 20 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe skipped a visit to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine during its four-day autumn festival that ended on Sunday.
Abe apparently does not want to undermine relations with China, sources familiar with his thinking said.
The Shinto shrine, which honors Class-A World War II criminals along with the war dead, is considered a symbol of Japan's past militarism, particularly in China and South Korea.
Two of Abe's cabinet ministers, Seiichi Eto and Sanae Takaichi, visited the shrine during the festival, drawing protests from the two Asian neighbors. No Japanese cabinet ministers had visited the shrine since April 2017.
Abe last visited the shrine in December 2013. He has since offered ritual offerings during its spring and autumn festivals as well as on the Aug. 15 anniversary of Japan's surrender in the war.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]