October 17, 2017
TOKYO- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a ritual offering of a "masakaki" tree stand to Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo Tuesday, the first day of the war-linked Shinto shrine's four-day autumn festival.
Abe dedicated the sacred tree under his name with the title of prime minister.
He is expected to refrain from visiting the shrine during the festival.
The shrine honors Class-A World War II criminals along with the war dead and is regarded as a symbol of Japan's past militarism particularly by China and South Korea.
House of Councillors President Chuichi Date and welfare minister Katsunobu Kato also offered masakaki tree stands to mark the festival.
Abe visited the shrine in December 2013, one year after he took office.
The prime minister has since not made Yasukuni visits during its spring and autumn festivals. He has been making masakaki offerings instead. Jiji Press
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