First lady Akie Abe said Tuesday that she visited Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo earlier in the day.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s wife wrote on her Facebook page that she “felt different” during her latest visit to the Shinto shrine because it came three days after she went to the former site of the Chiran air base in Kagoshima Prefecture, from which some kamikaze pilots left on suicide missions at the end of World War II.
Abe posted a photo on Facebook showing her standing next to a senior priest from the shrine, which honors convicted war criminals as well as the nation’s war dead and is seen by some countries — especially China and South Korea — as a symbol of Japan’s past militarism.
The prime minister last visited Yasukuni in December 2013, prompting rebukes from China and South Korea as well as an expression of disappointment from the United States.
On Saturday, the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in the war, he sent a ritual offering to the shrine.
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