Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga sent a ritual offering Wednesday to Yasukuni Shrine, a Shinto shrine in Tokyo seen by China and South Korea as a symbol of Japan's past militarism.

The masakaki tree offering was made to celebrate the shrine's biannual festival held in the spring and autumn. The shrine honors convicted war criminals along with more than 2.4 million war dead.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said the government is not in a position to comment on Suga's act as a private person, but added, "Whether to visit the Yasukuni Shrine or not is up to the prime minister to properly decide."