Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stayed away from the controversial Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo Friday as the nation marked the 69th anniversary of its World War II defeat, Bloomberg News reported.
Abe just opted to just send a donation to the shrine through an aide, it said.
The decision to stay away comes as the Japanese leader seeks a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the report noted.
Two members of Abe’s cabinet however paid their respects at the Yasukuni shrine, which commemorates Japan’s war dead including some indicted war criminals.
Japan’s neighbors, particularly China and South Korea, take offense at such visits as they see the shrine as a symbol of Tokyo’s militaristic past.
Abe hasn’t met Xi since taking office in December 2012 as ties between their two nations frayed over territorial and historical issues. By staying away from the war shrine, he may improve the odds of a meeting, the report said.
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