Scores of Japanese lawmakers have visited Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, including a new cabinet minister, in a move that could anger China and South Korea, which see it as a symbol of Tokyo's militarist past.
The Tokyo shrine honours millions of Japan's war dead, but also controversially includes several senior military and political figures convicted of war crimes.
An attached museum portrays Japan more as a victim of US aggression in World War II and makes scant reference to the extreme brutality of invading imperial troops when they stormed through Asia.
Visits to the shrine by senior Japanese politicians routinely draw an angry reaction from Beijing and Seoul.
The group of 73 politicians and 96 representatives of other lawmakers went to the shrine on Tuesday (local time) to mark the autumn festival, before trilateral talks among China, Japan and South Korea expected in two weeks' time.
Katsunobu Kato, tapped earlier this month as minister in charge of a newly created portfolio aimed at boosting employment, made a visit to the shrine in the afternoon to mark the autumn festival, local media said.
The visit came after internal affairs minister Sanae Takaichi, a close associate of Abe, and Justice Minister Mitsuhide Iwaki paid homage on Sunday, while Abe, a passionate supporter of the shrine, made a ritual offering on Saturday.
The prime minister himself is not expected to visit this time.
The conservative leader is due to hold talks next month with the leaders of China and South Korea, the countries that bore the brunt of Japanese military aggression in the 20th century.
He is also expected to hold his first official bilateral meeting with South Korean President Park Geun-Hye on the sidelines of the three-way summit, as well as his third bilateral face-to-face with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Politicians who visit insist they are doing what their counterparts in most other countries do when honouring fallen soldiers, and compare the shrine to Arlington National Cemetery in the US.