Economic security minister Sanae Takaichi on Tuesday visited war-related Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo during its three-day spring festival from Sunday.

She signed a visitors' book as a minister and made a tamagushi ritual offering at her own expense. The Shinto shrine honors the war dead, including Class-A World War II criminals, and is regarded as a symbol of Japan's past militarism by China, South Korea and others.

"I expressed my gratitude with a sense of respect to the souls of those who sacrificed their lives for national policies," Takaichi told reporters after her visit.

Ahead of Takaichi's visit, about 90 lawmakers of a suprapartisan group visited the shrine.

Among them were the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's General Council Chairman Hiroshi Moriyama, LDP Deputy Secretary-General Hiroshi Kajiyama and a few lawmakers of the Nippon Ishin no Kai.

"We're entering a new era in which a large majority of Japanese nationals were born after the war," Ichiro Aisawa, deputy head of the suprapartisan group, told a news conference after the group visit.

"We visited (the shrine) bearing in mind the importance of passing down to future generations the tragedy of war and the preciousness of peace," he added.