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Most Japanese Oppose Koizumi's Stance on China

The majority of Japanese people opposed Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's stance on China, according to a survey result released Tuesday by Asahi Shimbun newspaper on Tuesday.

Some 48 percent of those who responded in the telephone survey said they do not agree with the premier's political attitude to China while 35 percent said they support Koizumi on the issue and 17 percent refused to give a clear answer, the daily said.

About 49 percent in the survey said Koizumi should stop visiting the notorious Yasukuni Shrine, which honors 14 Class-A war criminals responsible for Japan's aggression war against Asian neighbors, while 39 percent said he should go on visiting.

Visits by Japanese leaders to the Tokyo-based shrine have been strongly denounced by many Asian countries, including China and South Korea, which severely suffered from the aggression. Koizumi has paid four visits to the shrine since he took office in 2001, with the latest one on New Year's Day in 2004.

The newspaper conducted the survey Saturday and Sunday on 1,876 randomly selected eligible voters, with a response rate of 53 percent.

(Xinhua News Agency June 1, 2005)

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