Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wang Yi has warned that Sino-Japanese relations in the new century could be sabotaged if Japan did not reject new history textbooks which deny and gloss over Japan's wartime aggression.
In a meeting with Nomoto Yoshio, charge d'affaires of the Japanese Embassy in China Friday, Wang stressed that China and Japan can only develop their relations in line with the common understanding reached by both sides to "take history as a mirror and face up to the future".
Wang pointed out that the essence of the textbook issue was "whether Japan can earnestly and correctly understand its aggressive history."
He expressed "grave concern" over the issue and restated the solemn stance of the Chinese side, urging the Japanese government to prohibit the publication of the textbooks compiled by rightist Japanese scholars.
If the textbooks advocating the concept of "divine nation" are approved, Wang said, they will "certainly arouse strong indignation" among people of China and other Asian countries which suffered a lot from Japanese aggression during World War II.
China demands the Japanese government earnestly abide by the solemn commitments it made in both the China-Japan Joint Statement and the China-Japan Joint Declaration, shoulder due responsibilities and obligations, and properly handle the textbook issue, he said.
(People’s Daily 03/04/2001)