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EXCLUSIVE: Abe to skip Yasukuni visit on war anniversary

Tokyo, Aug. 8 (Jiji Press)–Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will refrain from visiting Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine on the 75th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II on Aug. 15, Jiji Press learned Saturday.


He plans to make a “tamagushi” ritual offering at his personal expense in his capacity as president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party as usual through a lawmaker who is a close aide, informed sources said.


Some LDP members are calling on Abe to visit the shrine on the milestone anniversary.


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


The Shinto shrine simplified its spring festival this year due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. On the war-end anniversary, it will accept entry into the shrine building as usual, sources at the shrine said.


Every year, Abe makes a ritual offering of a “masakaki” tree stand for the shrine’s spring and autumn festivals and a tamagushi offering on the war-end anniversary.


He last visited the shrine in December 2013.


On Friday, many cabinet members stopped short of clearly answering questions made at press conferences about whether they will visit the shrine on the anniversary.

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