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Japanese lawmakers follow a Shinto priest during a visit to the controversial Yasukuni shrine on Friday to honor the country's war dead on the 69th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II, in Tokyo. / Yoshikazu Tsuno, AFP/Getty Images

TOKYO (AP) - At least two Japanese Cabinet ministers have paid respects at a Tokyo shrine that honors the war dead including convicted criminals, but the prime minister is expected to stay away.

Keiji Furuya, Chairman of the National Public Safety Commission, and Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Yoshitaka Shindo visited Yasukuni Shrine Friday.

The enshrinement of Class-A war criminals there, such as Hideki Tojo, makes the visits target of criticism from China and South Korea, which suffered under Japan's wartime aggression and see the shrine as a symbol of that brutality.

Thousands of Japanese go to the shrine on Aug. 15, the anniversary of the end of World War II nearly seven decades ago, marking Japan's surrender to the Allied Forces.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Yasukuni in December, drawing widespread criticism.



Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Read the original story: 2 Japan Cabinet ministers visit Yasukuni Shrine

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