Tokyo [Japan], April 21 (ANI): Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga sent a ritual offering on Wednesday to Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo that honours convicted war criminals and over 2.4 million war dead from WWII.
Suga sent a potted plant to the shrine to mark the spring festival, NHK reported.
This is the second time that Suga has sent a potted plant to the shrine under his title of prime minister. In October last year, he made a similar offering for the autumn festival.
The "masakaki" tree offering was made to celebrate the shrine's biannual festival, Kyodo News reported.
The government is not in a position to comment on Suga's actions as a private individual, said Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato Katsunobu. He said the Suga will make an appropriate judgment on whether or not to visit the shrine.
As on the previous occasions, the Japanese Prime Minister's offering drew criticism from Japan's neighbors.
"Yasukuni Shrine honors Class-A war criminals from World War Two and we have firmly opposed the improper actions by Japanese politicians. We call on Japan to squarely acknowledge and reflect on the history of its aggression, and win the trust of its neighbors and the international community with its actions," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, as quoted by the Japanese broadcaster.
Meanwhile, South Korea's foreign ministry said the shrine "glorifies Japan's history of colonial oppression and war of aggression."
Past visits from the Japanese leaders to the war shrine have drawn backlash from both countries.
On previous occasions, Suga's predecessor Abe Shinzo had offered plants during the spring and autumn festivals. (ANI)