Friday's announcement that Japan will host the 2016 summit of the Group of Seven industrialized nations in the area where Ise Shrine stands in Mie Prefecture underlines Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's conservative credentials.

"I hope world leaders will feel the rich culture and tradition and beautiful nature" there, Abe told reporters at Haneda airport before heading to Germany for this year's G-7 summit. He said he hopes the leaders will visit the shrine, which dates back around 2,000 years and is dedicated to the ancestral deities of the Imperial family.

Abe "wanted to emphasize the history and tradition" of Japan, a fellow Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker said.