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Japanese Prime Minister sends an offering to the controversial shrine in Tokyo that venerates war criminals

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The temple keeps the names of all the soldiers who died serving the country, including more than 1.000 people declared war criminals after the Second World War.

The Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, sent an offering to the Yasukuni Shinto temple in Tokyo on Monday, considered a symbol of militarism in several Asian countries, reports Kyodo.

People close to the president reported that Kishida sent the ritual offering of the ‘masakaki’ tree on the occasion of the temple’s autumn festival, but is expected to refrain from visiting the shrine in person, as Japanese heads of government have done since 2013, as these activities have drawn harsh criticism from of Asian countries, especially China and South Korea.

Thus, in 2013, the then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe went to the temple, which provoked a strong reaction from Beijing and Seoul. Meanwhile, Washington was also “disappointed” by Abe’s action, which, according to the US, would exacerbate “tensions with Japan’s neighbors.”

Established in 1869, Yasukuni saves the names of all the soldiers who died serving Japan, whose number approximates 2.5 million. The faithful believe that their souls become ‘kamis’, gods of the Shinto religion, who are venerated in the sanctuary.

The figure includes all fallen soldiers, including Koreans and Taiwanese enlisted in the troops of the Japanese Empire during the Japanese occupation of those lands. The most important thing is that it preserves the names of 1.068 persons declared war criminals in trials after the Second World War. From them, 14 are Class A criminals , who were tried by the Allies in the Tokyo Trials , between and 1948.

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