TOKYO: No Japanese cabinet member visited Yasukuni Shrine for the war dead during the two-day autumn festival that ended Sunday.
On Saturday, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga made a “masakaki” tree offering, as his predecessor, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, did while in office.
Besides Suga, health minister Norihisa Tamura, science and technology policy minister Shinji Inoue and House of Representatives Speaker Tadamori Oshima made masakaki offerings.
This year’s autumn festival was shortened due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.
A nonpartisan group of lawmakers refrained from visiting the Shinto shrine as they did in this year’s spring festival and on the Aug. 15 anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II.
China and South Korea regard the shrine in Tokyo, which also honors convicted war criminals, as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism.