Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing summoned Japanese Ambassador to China Miyamoto Yuji in Beijing Tuesday, lodging serious and solemn representations, and strong protests against Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's sixth visit to the war criminals-honoring Yasukuni Shrine.
Li said he expresses "strong indignation" and "strong condemnation" over the visit.
"China strongly requests Japanese leaders to make efforts to remove political barriers and push the Sino-Japanese ties back to the normal development track at an early date," he said.
Li told Miyamoto that Koizumi's repeated visit to the Yasukuni Shrine is a move that "challenges the international justice" and "tramples the conscience of mankind," Li said.
The class-A war criminals honored in the Yasukuni Shrine were hatchers and directors of Japanese militarists' aggression, and chief criminals responsible for the great calamity imposed on Asia and the world in the modern history, the foreign minister said.
Koizumi insisted on his visit to the shrine despite strong protests from the international community, Japan's Asian neighbors as well as Japanese people.
"His move severely hurt the feelings of the people of the victim countries, and undermined the political foundation of the China-Japan relations," he said.
Noting China is the biggest victim of Japanese militarists' aggression, Li said, "To correctly understand and treat that part of history constituted the political basis for the resumption and development of the China-Japan relations after the war, and the important preconditions for the two countries to face up to the future."
However, Koizumi, sticking to a wrong stance, has repeatedly hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and seriously violated the three Sino-Japanese political documents, Li said.
His move has also made him lose credit to the international community and the Japanese people alike, and undermined Japan's state image and interests, the foreign minister said.
Li said the Chinese government and people attaches great importance to the development of Sino-Japanese friendship and cooperation.
"We will continue to join hands with the Japanese statesmen and people who cherish and engage in the Sino-Japanese friendship, and make efforts for China-Japan long-term friendship and common development, based on the three Sino-Japanese political documents and in the spirit of 'learning from the history and facing up to the future,'" he said.
China strongly requests the Japanese government and leaders to follow the historical trend, remove political barriers and push Sino-Japanese relations back to the normal development track at an early date, Li said.
He stressed there are soaring voices from the international community and within Japan itself opposing Koizumi's shrine visit, which has demonstrated that his act is "unpopular."
To remove political barriers and push bilateral ties back to the normal development track at an early date is the right way that meet the common aspiration of the two peoples and the fundamental interests of the two countries.
Meanwhile, person in charge of China-Japan Friendship Association issued a written statement Tuesday to oppose Koizumi's shrine visit.
"His act has severely hurt the feelings of people in China and other Asian countries, which were victimized by Japanese militarists, and undermined the political foundation of China-Japan relations," the statement says.
"We express our uttermost indignation and strong protest over his wrong deeds," it says.
As everybody knows, the statement says, Yasukuni Shrine is the ideological prop and a tool of the Japanese militarists when launching aggression before the World War II.
It still honors 14 class-A war criminals including Hideki Tojo, whose hands were stained with the blood of the people in China and other victim countries, it says.
"Koizumi's doing resurrects Japan's wartime militarism, challenges the international justice and tramples the conscience of human beings," the statement says.
Development of the Sino-Japanese relations conforms to the fundamental interests of the two countries and the two peoples, it says.
"We are ready to join hands with Japanese personages from all walks of life, and make concerted efforts to remove obstacles in bilateral ties and promote friendly exchanges between the two peoples," the statement says.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement earlier Tuesday, strongly protesting Koizumi's visit again to the Yasukuni Shrine.
More than 30 Chinese people gathered outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing Tuesday morning, protesting against Koizumi's shrine visit.
(Xinhua News Agency August 15, 2006)