Tens of thousands of people braved a sweltering Monday in Tokyo to pay their respects to the nation's war dead on the 60th anniversary of Japan's World War II surrender.

At Yasukuni Shrine in Chiyoda Ward, an estimated 6,500 people took part in the 19th National Memorial Ceremony.

Masao Horie, president of Eirei-ni-Kotaeru-Kai (Group to Honor the Souls of the War Dead) and one of the event's organizers, slammed Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi for not showing up at Yasukuni to pay his respects.