World

After Abe's meeting with Chinese leader Xi, 2 Japan Cabinet ministers visit war shrine

  • Shinto priests walk during an annual spring festival of Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo, Wednesday, April 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    Shinto priests walk during an annual spring festival of Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo, Wednesday, April 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

  • The Imperial envoys visit the Yasukuni Shrine, delivering a gift from the emperor for an annual spring festival in Tokyo Wednesday, April 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    The Imperial envoys visit the Yasukuni Shrine, delivering a gift from the emperor for an annual spring festival in Tokyo Wednesday, April 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Kim Bok-tong, 88, a South Korean woman who was one of the sex slaves in Japan’s military brothels during the war, speaks during a symposium in Tokyo Thursday, April 23, 2015. “I hope Abe truly acknowledges and regrets Japan’s past mistakes and resolves the problem before we all die," said Kim. She also appealed to the U.S. government "to correct Abe’s actions and not support him. That’s what America should be doing to its good friend."  (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    Kim Bok-tong, 88, a South Korean woman who was one of the sex slaves in Japan’s military brothels during the war, speaks during a symposium in Tokyo Thursday, April 23, 2015. “I hope Abe truly acknowledges and regrets Japan’s past mistakes and resolves the problem before we all die," said Kim. She also appealed to the U.S. government "to correct Abe’s actions and not support him. That’s what America should be doing to its good friend." (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

Two Japanese Cabinet ministers have visited a Tokyo shrine that honors the country's war dead including convicted war criminals, a day after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe held brief talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Previous visits by Japanese leaders to pray at Yasukuni Shrine have drawn sharp rebukes from neighboring China and South Korea and calls for Japan to atone for its wartime aggression. Abe sent religious offerings rather than visiting the shrine.

Eriko Yamatani, the disaster management minister, and Haruko Arimura, minister in charge of promoting women's empowerment, were among more than 100 lawmakers who paid spring visits this week to the shrine.

Abe was due to return Thursday from Indonesia, where he met with Xi on the sidelines of the Asia-African Summit.