TOKYO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the controversial Yasukuni Shrine for war dead on Saturday, his first visit since December 2013, after refraining from doing so for most of his term to avoid angering China and South Korea.
Abe announced the visit on his official Twitter account along with a photo of himself at the shrine, just days after Yasuhide Suga succeeded him as Japan's leader. Japan's longest-serving leader stepped down, citing health problems.
The shrine is seen by Beijing and Seoul as a symbol of Japan's past military aggression because it honours 14 Japanese wartime leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal as well as war dead. (Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by William Mallard)