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Abe sends ritual donation to Yasukuni Shrine on war anniversary

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (Mainichi)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual donation to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on Wednesday as Japan marked the anniversary of its surrender in World War II, but he is unlikely to visit the site considering relations with China and other countries.

The Shinto shrine, seen by neighboring countries as a symbol of Japan's past militarism, has been a source of diplomatic friction with them as it honors convicted war criminals together with war dead.

In light of improving relations with those neighbors, particularly China, Abe and his Cabinet ministers are likely to refrain from visiting the shrine on the anniversary.

Abe visited Yasukuni in December 2013 after taking office the previous year, drawing protests from Asian neighbors and also prompting the United States to express disappointment.

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