Japan PM Abe sends ritual offering to Yasukuni shrine for war dead

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 14, 2017 8:08 PM

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering to the Yasukuni shrine for war dead on Tuesday to mark the anniversary of Japan's World War Two surrender.

Past visits by Japanese leaders to Yasukuni have outraged Beijing and Seoul because it honors 14 Japanese leaders convicted by an Allied tribunal as war criminals, along with other war dead.

Abe has only visited the shrine in person once since taking office in 2012, but sends offerings on August 15 and during Yasukuni's twice yearly festivals.

Masahiko Shibayama, a lawmaker from Abe's Liberal Democratic Party, told reporters that he had made an offering on Abe's behalf.

Abe's move comes amid heightened tensions in the region in the wake of North Korean missile tests, threats from Pyongyang to strike the area around the U.S. territory of Guam and U.S. President Donald Trump warning of "fire and fury" if North Korea threatened the United States.

(Reporting by Teppei Kasai, writing by Elaine Lies; Editing by Michael Perry)