French National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen has led a group of European far-right politicians in visiting a controversial World War Two memorial in Tokyo.
The Yasukuni Shrine honours the millions who died in the conflict including 14 top war criminals.
Some see it as a symbol of Japan’s murky military past but Le Pen dismissed those concerns.
“What matters is our willingness to honour those who have died for their country,” the 82-year-old told reporters.
“Whether they are Japanese or soldiers from somewhere else in the world, we have the same respect for them,” he said.
The group included right-wingers from the UK, Austria, Hungary, Portugal, Italy and Belgium.
They were in Tokyo for a conference organised by a Japanese ultranationalist group to discuss issues such as immigration, climate change and Islam.
War veterans, politicians and relatives of the dead are set to visit the shrine on Sunday, although Prime Minister Naoto Kan has said he will stay away.