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Tuesday, 21st April 2009
In General Japan News,

Japanese PM sends offering to controversial shrine

Taro Aso, the prime minister of Japan, has sent an offering to one of the country's most controversial war shrines.

The Yasukuni shrine commemorates 2.5 million people who died fighting in the country's military engagements, including several war criminals.

Mr Aso offered a potted evergreen plant to the memorial to mark the beginning of a national festival today (April 21st) and paid for it with his own cash.

A spokesman for the shrine told the AFP news agency: "He gave a sakaki to the shrine for this festival, and he also did so in autumn last year."

Recently, Mr Aso denied rumours that he is planning to call a general election following the enactment of a fiscal 2009 supplementary budget.

"It is important to have the extra budget enacted at the earliest possible time as expectations for the budget are high," he was quoted by the Associated Press as saying.

Written by Graham McPherson