Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent an offering last month for a festival at a Tokyo war shrine that critics in Asia and at home say glorifies Japanese militarism, news reports said Tuesday.
Abe sent the offering for Yasukuni Shrine's annual Spring Festival, held April 21-23, the Asahi newspaper, public broadcaster NHK and Kyodo News agency reported. The offering was accompanied by a postcard that read "the prime minister," the Asahi and NHK said.
Abe has regularly prayed at Yasukuni in the past and reportedly made a secret trip as chief Cabinet secretary just before the Shrine's main spring festival last year.
He refused to discuss whether he planned to visit the shrine ahead of this year's event, amid media reports he would likely stay away until at least July in a bid to improve ties with China.