TOKYO, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering to the notorious war-linked Yasukuni Shrine on Monday, where over 70 conservative lawmakers visited on the 71st anniversary of Japan's unconditional surrender in World War II.
Regardless of the feeling of the peoples of neighboring countries, Abe asked his aide Yasutoshi Nishimura to make the offering as leader of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
Meanwhile, conservative lawmakers, including Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Hagiuda, and Shinjiro Koizumi, son of former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, also visited the shrine.
Japan's new defense minister Tomomi Inada did not visit the notorious shrine Monday as she was on a four-day trip from Saturday to Djibouti in Africa. But an LDP lawmakers' group with Inada as president paid homage to the shrine.
New reconstruction minister Masahiro Imamura visited the notorious shrine last week.
The Yasukuni Shrine, which honors 14 Class-A convicted war criminals among 2.5 million Japanese war dead from WWII, is regarded as a symbol of the past Japanese militarism.
Visits to the infamous shrine by Japanese leaders and officials have sparked strong criticism from China and South Korea.