China has postponed a visit by Japan's defense chief and a port call in Japan of a Chinese warship to protest Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to a controversial war shrine, a Chinese Foreign Ministry official said Tuesday.
"The Japanese leader's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine has hurt the Chinese people's feelings and harmed Sino-Japanese relations," the official said. "China believes that at this time it is not appropriate to carry out these two activities."
A China trip by the head of the Japan Defence Agency, Gen Nakatani, was originally scheduled for late April, while a vessel of the People's Liberation Army Navy was set to have visited Japan in mid-May, he said.
Tuesday, nearly 190 Japanese lawmakers or proxies visited Tokyo's Yasukuni war shrine en masse, despite simmering anger in Asia over Koizumi's visit there two days ago.
Among the fresh visitors to Yasukuni were 91 members of parliament, including a minister in Koizumi's cabinet, National Public Safety Commission chief Jin Murai, and Taku Yamasaki, secretary-general of the long-ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
They were joined by representatives of 94 other lawmakers.
Taiwan and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) joined the chorus of protests.
(China Daily April 24, 2002)