China scathing on Abe's Yasukuni visit

Source:Xinhua Published: 2013-12-26 13:03:40


China on Thursday condemned Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Yasukuni shrine, saying the gesture is "a major new political obstacle" to already strained relations.

"(We) strongly protest and condemn the Japanese leader's wrongdoing, which has deeply hurt the feelings of Asian war victims." Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said immediately after Abe's Thursday visit to the shrine, where 14 WWII class-A war criminals are honored.

Abe's visit is the first by a serving Japanese prime minister since 2006. Former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's annual visits to the shrine during his tenure from 2001 to 2006 were a major factor that affected the ties between Japan and its Asian neighbors.

Japanese aggression brought atrocities to China and other Asian countries and deeply hurt the Japanese people, Qin said.

Qin labelled the Yasukuni shrine as "a spiritual tool and symbol" of Japanese aggression in WWII.

Abe's visit to the shrine whitewashes Japanese aggression and colonial rule, overthrows the international community's trial of Japanese militarism and challenges the post-war international order, said the spokesman.

Qin said the Japanese leader's actions give its Asian neighbors and the international community every reason to be highly vigilant and deeply concerned over the road Japan will take in the future.

Japanese politicians visiting the Yasukuni Shrine anger Japan's neighbors such as China and the Republic of Korea (ROK). Since Abe took office, his government has shown an irresponsible attitude to Japan's war history by refusing to apologize to its Asian neighbors and trying to revise the pacifist constitution.

Qin said China-Japan relations have faced "severe difficulties" since the Japanese government announced in September 2012 its plan to "purchase" part of the Diaoyu Islands, a move that has contributed to the disintegration of bilateral relations.

Qin slammed the so-called "China threat" incited by Japan, saying it severely damaged China's security interest.

"In such circumstances, Japanese leaders showed no restraint, but went from bad to worse, making serious trouble on historical problems, which erect a major new political obstacle to the improvement and development of China-Japan relations," the spokesman said, adding Japan must "take on all the consequence".

Officials with the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Chinese ambassador in Japan will make solemn representations to the Japanese ambassador in China and Japan's foreign ministry, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

The government of Republic of Korea (ROK) also warned on Thursday that relations with Japan will tailspin to a historic low due to Abe's shrine visit.

"Only if Japan faces up to and deeply reflects on the invasion history, takes the history as a mirror, can it develop a relationship oriented to the future with its Asian neighbors," Qin said.

He urged Japan to abide by its commitment of reflecting on the invasion history, take measures to correct its mistakes and eliminate the baneful influence, and regain trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community with concrete actions.

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Posted in: Diplomacy

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