TOKYO (AP) — Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada has visited a Tokyo shrine that honors convicted war criminals among the nation's war dead.
Inada said she made the visit Thursday to Yasukuni Shrine to "express gratitude and respect to those who sacrificed their lives for their countries."
Visits by top Japanese leaders to the shrine often draw complaints from neighboring countries such as China and South Korea that see them as attempts to whitewash Japan's history of wartime aggression.
The visit to Yasukuni was Inada's first since she became defense minister. She has visited the shrine on other occasions.
It came just two days after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Hawaii's Pearl Harbor and offered condolences to those who died in the Japanese attack there in 1941.