Cabinet ministers and at least 53 Diet members visited Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on surrender day Friday while Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and two key ministers opted to keep their distance from the contentious landmark, which served as Japan’s spiritual pillar during the war.

Fukuda, Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura and Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura all refrained from visiting the Shinto shrine, conforming with Fukuda’s moderate stance of not antagonizing China and South Korea.

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