Kishida Makes Ritual Offering to Yasukuni Shrine

Politics

Tokyo, Oct. 17 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made a ritual offering of a "masakaki" tree stand to war-related Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on Sunday, when the Shinto shrine's two-day autumn festival started.

Kishida, who took office Oct. 4, is expected to skip a visit to the shrine during the festival, apparently to avoid impacts on Japan's diplomatic relations with China and South Korea, which regard the shrine as a symbol of Japan's past militarism as it honors Class-A war criminals along with the war dead.

It is also believed that Kishida is giving consideration to Komeito, the coalition partner of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party, ahead of the Oct. 31 general election for the House of Representatives, the all-important lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament.

Komeito is cautious about senior government officials visiting Yasukuni Shrine. The official campaign period for the closely watched election is set to start Tuesday.

The last time a sitting Japanese prime minister visited the shrine was December 2013, when Shinzo Abe paid a visit.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press