Peace and Freedom

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AFP

TOKYO —Prime Minister Shinzo Abe risked Chinese and Korean ire on Tuesday by sending an offering to a controversial war shrine, and saying he may not repeat a formal apology for the country’s World War II rampage.

Abe, an unabashed nationalist, made a symbolic donation to Yasukuni shrine, the supposed repository of the country’s war dead, including 14 of the most infamous war criminals.

The gifting of a sakaki tree—sacred in native Shintoism—appeared to indicate that Abe would not visit Yasukuni during the three-day spring festival, which began Tuesday.

Nevertheless, Beijing and Seoul, which view the shrine as a symbol of Japan’s unrepentance over wartime wrongs, are likely to be angered by the offering at a time focus is increasingly on a statement Abe will make marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Observers are watching whether he will make direct reference to his…

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