Kishida makes ritual offering to Yasukuni Shrine

Jiji Press
Yasukuni Shrine

TOKYO (Jiji Press) —

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida sent a ritual “masakaki” tree offering to Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on Thursday, when the war-related shrine’s two-day spring festival opened.

He will not pay a visit to the Shinto shrine during the festival. Among other members of his cabinet, health minister Shigeyuki Goto also made a masakaki offering.

Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Sanae Takaichi, policy leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, visited the shrine on Thursday.

No sitting prime minister has paid a visit to the shrine since December 2013, when Abe did so. His successors avoided visiting the shrine out of diplomatic consideration for China and South Korea.

Yasukuni Shrine is considered a symbol of Japan’s past militarism, particularly in the neighboring countries, as it honors Class-A war criminals along with the war dead.

During the shrine’s autumn festival in October last year, Kishida did not visit the shrine but made a masakaki offering.