Premier Wen Jiabao said in Beijing Sunday that Japanese leaders' visits to Yasukuni Shrine, where top war criminals are enshrined, have tremendously harmed the feelings of the people in China and Asian at large, underscoring that it is the main problem for bilateral relations between two countries.
China lost more than 20 million lives during the war of Japanese aggression against China, said the premier, whose own family suffered during the war.
At a press conference shortly after the conclusion of the top legislature session, Premier Wen cited Sino-Japanese relations as "generally good". According to the premier, the average trade volume between China and Japan has been valued at some US$130 billion a year and there is an annual exchange of 3 million people in personnel exchange. There are also more than 200 cities with a yoke of sisterly friendship between the two countries, he noted.
He urged Japanese leaders to abide by the three political documents concerning Sino-Japanese ties signed between the two governments, learn lessons earnestly from the history, look forward to the future, do not do things detrimental the feelings of the Chinese people anymore, and not affect the regular exchanges of visits of leaders of the two nations and the normal growth of bilateral relations.
(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2004)