Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will not visit the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine during its upcoming autumn festival, apparently fearing that doing so could derail efforts to hold bilateral summit talks with China and South Korea, sources close to the matter said on Wednesday. During the four-day festival starting on Saturday, Abe is expected to instead offer a “masakaki” tree traditionally used in rituals celebrated by Japan's Shinto religion, the sources said. Since becoming prime minister for the second time in December 2012, Abe visited the shrine in Tokyo in December 2013, drawing immediate rebukes from China and South Korea. Abe sent masakaki offerings during the spring and autumn festivals last year and the spring festival this year. With the House of Councillors election scheduled for next summer, Abe has shifted his focus to the economy and diplomacy with the aim of boosting his popularity after the ruling coalition bulldozed controversial national security legislation through the parliament in the face of public opposition. Abe is making arrangements to meet South Korean President Park Geun-hye on the sidelines of a three-way summit among Japan, China and South Korea to be held later in the month or early November in South Korea. No formal meeting between Abe and Park has taken place since Abe took office in 2012 and Park in 2013 due to differing views on territory and wartime history. Abe is also seeking one-on-one talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the fringes of international conferences, such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit in the Philippines in November. That would again be a chance to demonstrate signs of a thaw in Japan's icy relations with the Asian neighbour. Yasukuni Shrine honours wartime Prime Minister Gen. Hideki Tojo and other convicted Class-A war criminals, along with over 2.4 million of war dead.