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Japan's Abe sends ritual offering to notorious Yasukuni Shrine
2019-04-21 

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday sent a ritual offering to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine, local media reported.

This picture shows a 'masakaki' tree that was sent by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as an offering to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on April 21, 2019. [Photo: JIJI PRESS/AFP]

This picture shows a 'masakaki' tree that was sent by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as an offering to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on April 21, 2019. [Photo: JIJI PRESS/AFP]

Abe made the offering under the name of the prime minister for the spring festival at the shrine.

The shrine, seen by neighboring countries as a symbol of Japan's past militarism, has long been a source of diplomatic friction between Japan and its neighbors, as it honors convicted war criminals together with the war dead.

Yasukuni Shrine honors 14 Class-A convicted war criminals among 2.5 million Japanese war dead from World War II.

The Japanese prime minister last visited the controversial shrine in person in December 2013. But he regularly sends ritual offerings to the shrine during its spring and autumn festivals and gives donations on Aug. 15, the anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II.

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