Kishida Makes Ritual Offering to Yasukuni Shrine

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Yasukuni Shrine

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made a ritual offering of a “masakaki” tree stand to war-related Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on Friday for its spring festival.

He has no plans to visit the Shinto shrine during the two-day festival through Saturday, people familiar with the matter said.

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 by China and South Korea.

Since taking office as prime minster in October 2021, Kishida has made masakaki offerings for the shrine’s spring and autumn festivals.

Last year, he made a “tamagushi” ritual offering to the shrine on the Aug. 15 anniversary of Japan’s surrender in the war.

No sitting prime minister has paid a visit to the shrine since December 2013, when the late Shinzo Abe did so. No such visit has since taken place out of diplomatic consideration for China and South Korea.