China slams Abe’s shrine offering

By Agencies - Global Times Source:Agencies-Global Times Published: 2017/4/22 0:25:48

Japan should make ‘clean break with militarism’: FM

China urged Japan to "make a clean break with militarism" after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a ritual ­offering to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine and dozens of Japanese politicians visited on Friday.

China has always firmly opposed these kinds of acts by Japanese politicians, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said at a news briefing.

"We always oppose Japanese politicians' wrong moves [in visiting the Yasukuni Shrine]," Lu said. "Japan should face up to its history of aggression and make a clean break with militarism."

Japan should abide by the spirit of the four political documents between the two countries and earnestly implement the four-point principled agreement reached in late 2014, said Lu.

He also urged the Japanese side to obtain the trust of neighboring countries and the international community through concrete actions.

The Yasukuni Shrine honors millions of mostly Japanese war dead, but is regarded by some as a symbol of Japan's past militarism for also enshrining senior World War II military and political figures convicted of war crimes by an international tribunal.

China and the two Koreas consider the shrine a painful reminder of Japanese colonialism and invasion during the early 20th century.

South Korea's foreign ­ministry said Friday that the visits and offerings were ­"deeply worrying and ­regrettable."

According to Japanese national television station NHK, 95 members of parliament paid their respects en masse on Friday, including ­Communications Minister ­Sanae Takaichi, who usually visits during the shrine's twice-yearly festivals and on August 15, the anniversary of Japan's World War II surrender.

Health Minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki sent a ritual offering, like Abe, but neither was expected to visit, NHK noted.

 There was no sign that ­Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, who is reluctant to admit Japan's wartime ­aggression, had visited or made an offering at the shrine.

Abe has avoided the shrine since going in 2013. That visit sparked fury from its Asian neighbors and even earned a diplomatic rebuke from close ally the US.

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