Abe sends gift to WWII shrine but doesn't visit

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TOKYO -— Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan made a ceremonial offering to a controversial Tokyo war shrine last month but did not go himself, a shrine official said Tuesday.

Yasukuni Shrine, a Shinto memorial that commemorates Japan’s wartime dead, including Class A war criminals from World War II, has been a focal point of Chinese and South Korean ire over what many in Asia see as Japan’s lack of remorse for its wartime deeds.

Mr. Abe, who has worked to improve relations with booming China, has for months refused to say if he would visit the shrine. On Tuesday, Japanese news reports said Mr. Abe sent a small plant as a type of compromise — a way of paying his respects and playing to his conservative base without making a visit, which the Chinese would surely take as an affront.

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