Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering to the notorious war-linked Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on Sunday.
Other officials also sent ritual offerings to the shrine on the occasion of Japan's annual spring festival, including Labor minister Takumi Nemoto, speaker of the House of Representatives of the Japanese parliament Tadamori Oshima, and Chuichi Date, speaker of the House of Councillors.
Yasukuni Shrine honors 14 Class-A convicted war criminals among 2.5 million Japanese war dead from World War II and has long been regarded as a symbol of the past Japanese militarism.
Abe has not visited Yasukuni Shrine since December 2013. Instead, he chose to make "masakaki" offerings for both spring and autumn festivals at the contentious shrine.
Visits to the infamous shrine by Japanese leaders and officials have sparked strong criticism from China, South Korea, and other countries in Asia.
China has always slammed such acts by Japanese politicians and reiterated that Japan should reflect deeply on the history of aggression and break with militarism, so as to obtain the trust of neighboring Asian countries and the international community through action.