An aide to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo that honors nearly two-point-five million war dead, including Class-A war criminals.
According to Japan’s Kyodo News, Seiichi Eto made the visit on Wednesday, the third day of the annual autumn festival at the shrine, and dedicated a ritual tree offering.
The report said that Eto described himself as an aide to the prime minister and member of the House of Councillors when he wrote his name in the guest book at the shrine.
Eto told reporters that he made the visit to express gratitude to those who sacrificed their lives and to pay respects. The two-term lawmaker added that he wished for the peace of Japan and the world.
Eto’s visit came two days after Abe sent a masakaki, a decorated wooden offering used in rituals, to Yasukuni.
Abe has opted to send an offering to Yasukuni since his visit to the shrine in December 2013 drew strong criticism from home and abroad that he was attempting to legitimize Japan's atrocities during World War II.
Located in central Tokyo, Yasukuni honors two-point-466 million Japanese war dead, including 14 Class-A criminals, such as Hideki Tojo, who was hanged by an Allied tribunal.