For the first time since taking office, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has sent a ritual offering to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, a site viewed by Japan's neighbors, including both Koreas, as a glorification of the country's past militarism.
Japanese media report that Kishida sent a "masakaki" tree on Sunday for the start of the shrine's two-day autumn festival.
But to avoid raising raising diplomatic tensions further, Kishida is not expected to go to the shrine in person.
The shrine honors Japan's war dead, including 14 Class A war criminals, so visits there are highly provocative.
The last sitting Japanese prime minister to visit was Shinzo Abe in December 2013.