Asia

Japan marks 71st war-end anniversary, PM avoids war shrine

  • Bereaved family members arrive for a national memorial ceremony for the war dead at Nippon Budokan martial arts hall in Tokyo, Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. Japan marked Monday the 71st anniversary of the end of World War II.(AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)

    Bereaved family members arrive for a national memorial ceremony for the war dead at Nippon Budokan martial arts hall in Tokyo, Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. Japan marked Monday the 71st anniversary of the end of World War II.(AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)  (The Associated Press)

  • Japanese lawmakers visit the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo to offer prayers to the war dead Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. Japan marked the 71st anniversary of the end of World War II. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    Japanese lawmakers visit the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo to offer prayers to the war dead Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. Japan marked the 71st anniversary of the end of World War II. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Japanese veteran, left, and his follower clad in outdated military costumes pose for worshippers taking their photos at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. Japan marked the 71st anniversary of the end of World War II. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    A Japanese veteran, left, and his follower clad in outdated military costumes pose for worshippers taking their photos at Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo Monday, Aug. 15, 2016. Japan marked the 71st anniversary of the end of World War II. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stayed away from a Tokyo shrine that honors convicted war criminals among the war dead apparently not to spark controversy from neighboring countries as Japan marked the 71st anniversary of the end of World War II.

Abe on Monday sent a pair of religious ornament to the Yasukuni Shrine, apparently as Tokyo arranges a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in China next month.

Abe's last visit in December 2012 had drawn sharp rebukes from China and South Korea, which see Yasukuni as a symbol of Japan's wartime militarism and consider lawmakers visits as whitewashing of Japan's wartime aggression.

Abe was to attend a state memorial ceremony later Monday.

Dozens of lawmakers paid visits to the shrine.