It’s his first trip in almost seven decades.
Abe stated on Twitter he visited the shrine” and reported into the spirits of the war dead” that he had resigned as prime minister.
The shrine is contentious with Japan’s neighbors since it honors convicted war criminals among the countless other Japanese who perished in World War II.
The trip will probably be aggressively criticized in North and South Korea and in China, countries that were victims of Japanese military aggression from the first portion of the 20th century.
Abe’s final trip to the shrine was in late 2013.
Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, resigned due to health difficulties. New Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga began his first full day in office Thursday.
Suga won the backing of fellow ruling party lawmakers having a pledge to continue Abe’s policies.
Abe, believed a foreign policy hawk, has had occasionally fraught relationships with China and South Korea, in part due to his revisionist stance on Western wartime offenses.