08 May 2007

Abe sends offering to controversial shrine

The Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, has sent a potted tree as an offering to the Shinto Yasukuni Shrine, which honours Japan's war dead. Visits to the shrine by previous prime ministers of Japan have courted controversy among neighbouring countries, such as China and South Korea, because, among the spirits honoured at the shrine, are those of 12 World War II "Class A" war criminals.

Abe is trying to avoid straining relations with Japan's neighbours, and has not visited the shrine since taking the prime ministerial post (BBC).

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