Explosion damages toilet at controversial shrine for war dead

The Niinamesai Festival of First Fruits conducted at the Main Shrine on Monday morning attracted a lot of people on Labour Thanksgiving public holiday, and the festival was carried out safely, Kyodo news said.

An apparent explosion at Japan's controversial Yasukuni Shrine for the war dead in Tokyo on Monday damaged the ceiling and the wall of a public bathroom near the south gate of the shrine, Kyodo news agency reported.

Nobody was injured in the incident and the police have sent a bomb disposal unit to the shrine to deal with suspicious objects that have not exploded, media said.

A hole in the ceiling of the public bathroom was discovered, as well as a battery and a lead wire, public broadcaster NHK said.

The shrine is regarded as a symbol of Japan's past militarism and visits to the shrine by Japanese politicians have stoked protests from China and South Korea, where memories of Japanese occupation and colonialism before and during World War Two run deep.

The shrine could not be immediately reached for comment on the phone.

For safety reasons, the shrine has cancelled accepting visits for the festival by children, it added.

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