TOKYO, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday morning made an offering to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine during its autumn festival, according to local media.
The offering is amid strained relations between Japan and its neighboring countries, namely China and South Korea, due to territorial disputes and Japan's attitude toward war-related history.
The shrine, which honors Japanese war dead, including 14 class- A war criminals during the World War II, is considered as the symbol of Japan's past militarism.
Repeated visits to the controversial shrine by Japanese cabinet ministers and lawmakers have been a major obstacle for Japan to mend ties with the two countries.
Abe also made offerings during the shrine's spring festival in April and in the anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II on Aug. 15 this year.
According to local reports, Japanese internal affairs minister Yoshitaka Shindo and Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission Keiji Furuya would pay visits to the shrine.
A nonpartisan group of Japanese lawmakers is reportedly to visit the shrine on Friday.