China Criticizes Japanese PM's Shrine Visit

The Chinese government and people have expressed strong dissatisfaction and indignation over Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said Monday in Beijing.

Zhang made the remark when asked to comment on Koizumi's visit Monday to the Shrine.

She noted that in disregard of the strong opposition from Japan 's Asian neighbors including China and inside Japan itself, Koizumi visited the Shrine that has memorial tablets to class-A war criminals.

The wrongful action taken by the Japanese leader has damaged the political basis of Sino-Japanese relations, hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and the people of the majority of victimized countries in Asia, and violated the series of solemn statements and commitments made by the Japanese government on the history issue, she pointed out.

The Chinese side will make solemn and just representations with the Japanese side through diplomatic channels, added Zhang.

She went on to say that the Chinese side has taken note of the fact that Koizumi, under domestic and foreign pressure, finally gave up his former plan to visit the Shrine on August 15, which is a sensitive time, and delivered a statement today reiterating that Japan admits its history of aggression and reiterating its attitude on introspecting its action.

China requests the Japanese side to practice what it preaches, and honor its statements and commitments made to the Chinese side in a truthful manner.

( 08/13/2001)

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