No minister from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's cabinet visited Yasukuni Shrine on August 15th, the day Japan marks the end of World War Two, for the second straight year.
The shrine honors Japan's war dead. Those remembered include leaders convicted of war crimes after World War Two.
Although Abe did not visit the shrine, he made an offering using his personal funds, as he has done for the past several years.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang criticized Abe's offering.
Lu said the shrine honors the war criminals who are directly responsible for World War Two and China firmly opposes this move in Japan.
He urged Japan to face up to its history of aggression and deeply repent for it, and to take concrete actions to win back trust from its Asian neighbors and the international community.
South Korea's Foreign Ministry also expressed deep regret over Abe's offering and a visit by a group of lawmakers to the shrine, which it says glorifies Japan's past colonial exploitation and war of aggression.
In a statement, the ministry called on Japanese politicians to take a sincere attitude of reflection on the country's history.
The ministry said that when Japanese politicians do so, bilateral relations will move forward in a future-oriented way and Japan can garner trust from neighboring countries.
The ministry refrained from criticizing Abe by name.