Japan PM Abe sends offering to Yasukuni shrine for war dead -Kyodo

TOKYO, Aug 15 (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual offering to the controversial Yasukuni shrine for war dead on Thursday, the anniversary of Japan's World War Two surrender, Kyodo News said of a gesture likely to be criticised by Asian neighbours.

Past visits by Japanese leaders to Yasukuni have outraged South Korea and China because the shrine honours 14 Japanese wartime leaders convicted as war criminals. Protests from Seoul could be especially strong this year because bilateral relations are at their lowest level in years after a series of disputes. (Reporting by Chris Gallagher Editing by Paul Tait)