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Japan PM sends offering to shrine

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sent a religious offering to a Tokyo shrine that honours the dead, including executed war criminals.

Mr Abe's offering at the Yasukuni Shrine marks the April 21-23 spring festival, one of the shrine's key annual events.

But the move suggests he will not visit Yasukuni ahead of US President Barack Obama's visit beginning on Wednesday.

Two ministers of his cabinet have visited Yasukuni over the past two weeks.

The shrine has long been a flashpoint between Japan and neighbours China and both Koreas. They see Yasukuni as a symbol of Japan's past militarism, and repeated visits by Japanese leaders as a lack of remorse over wartime history.

Yasukui enshrines 2.6 million war dead, including 14 Class A war criminals from the Second World War.

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