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Abe not to visit Yasukuni Shrine: report

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-03-29 13:26

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will not visit the notorious Yasukuni Shrine that honors Japanese war criminals of the World War II during the shrine's spring festival in April, local media reported.

However, Abe is mulling to offering a "masakaki" tree traditionally used in rituals to the shrine, according to Japan's Kyodo News Agency.

Abe did not visit the controversial shrine during his first term as prime minister from 2006 in a move to mend Japan-China relations that plunged due to his predecessor Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits.

Visits to the Yasukuni Shrine by Japanese leaders and lawmakers draw strong opposition from China and South Korea that suffered Japan's invasion in the World War II.

Last October, as the newly elected president of the Liberal Democratic Party, Abe visited the shrine during its autumn festival in a move to gain supports from the right-wing.

Abe also said that it was "extremely regrettable" that he could not visit the notorious shrine when he was in office last time.

China and South Korea have urged many times that Japan should take a responsible attitude toward history.

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