Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering to Yasukuni Shrine for the war dead on Wednesday, the anniversary of Japan's World War II surrender.
Past visits by Japanese leaders to Yasukuni have outraged China and South Korea because the shrine honors 14 Japanese wartime leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal, along with war dead.
Ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Masahiko Shibayama made the offering on Abe's behalf. Abe has only visited the shrine in person once since taking office in 2012 but has previously sent offerings.
China's relations with Japan have long been haunted by what Beijing sees as Tokyo's failure to atone for its occupation of parts of China before and during World War Two. Japan occupied Korea from 1910-1945.
Rightwing group members in uniforms make their way to Yasukuni Shrine to pay tribute to the war dead. Photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon A man dressed as a Japanese Imperial Army soldier sits near a gate to Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, on Wednesday. Photo: REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon © Thomson Reuters 2018.