Tokyo, April 22 (Jiji Press)–No Japanese cabinet minister visited war-related Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo during its two-day spring festival that ended Thursday.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga made a ritual offering of a “masakaki” tree stand to the Shinto shrine while refraining from paying a visit.
Other ministers, including Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Norihisa Tamura, also offered masakaki tree stands.
A suprapartisan league of lawmakers promoting Yasukuni visits avoided a group visit due to a surge in coronavirus infection cases. A few members, including the group’s leader, Hidehisa Otsuji of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, former vice president of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of Japan’s parliament, visited the shrine on behalf of other members.
On Thursday, visitors were not allowed to enter the “Honden” main shrine as a worker at Yasukuni Shrine has been found positive for the coronavirus.
Yasukuni Shrine therefore asked the Imperial Household Agency not to send envoys of Emperor Naruhito to the festival.
Yasukuni Shrine honors Class-A World War II criminals among the war dead and is regarded as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism in China, South Korea and elsewhere.