Japanese lawmakers have paid tribute at the Yasukuni Shrine where 14 A-Class war criminals are among those honored.
According to Kyodo News, a group of lawmakers from both the ruling and opposition camps visited the controversial site in central Tokyo on the first day of the annual spring festival Friday morning.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did not join them, instead sending a ritual offering to the shrine as he had done previously.
The Japanese news agency said that Abe dedicated a masakaki, a decorated wooden offering used in rituals to the shrine.
Abe last visit to the controversial shrine in December 2013 drew strong criticism from home and abroad and since then he has opted to send offerings rather than visit in person.
Kyodo said Abe appeared to have chosen not to visit the shrine this year based on the judgment that Tokyo needs cooperation from Seoul, Beijing and Washington to prevent the North from conducting provocative actions.
Located in central Tokyo, Yasukuni honors two-point-466 million Japanese war dead, including the A-Class criminals, such as Hideki Tojo, who was hanged by an Allied tribunal.