TOKYO – Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made donations and three Cabinet ministers prayed at Tokyo's militarist shrine over the weekend, sparking South Korean anger.
Top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said Monday that Abe didn't visit the Yasukuni Shrine but donated religious ornaments marking the shrine's spring festival. The finance minister and two other Cabinet ministers prayed at the shrine.
Suga acknowledged unconfirmed reports that South Korea cancelled foreign ministerial talks. He said the talks were at planning stage and hasn't been official.
He said the shrine visits and donations were private and shouldn't affect diplomacy.
Yasukuni honors Japanese wartime leaders convicted of war crimes among 2.5 million war-dead. It remains a focus of nationalist pride among Japanese conservatives and right-wingers and often causes friction with Japan's Asian neighbors.