Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing (R) talks with Japanese Ambassador to China Koreshige Anami and seriously read the statement.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Monday to condemn Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, a place where World War II criminals were honored.
Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing urgently summoned Japanese Ambassador to China Koreshige Anami and seriously read the statement, expressing strong condemnation for Koizumi's visit.
Regardless the strong opposition from China and other Asian countries and their peoples, Koizumi again visited Yasukuni Shrine, the statement said.
Such a move "randomly hurt the feeling and dignity" of the countries and their peoples falling victim during the WWII and "seriously undermined Sino-Japanese relations", it said.
The Chinese government and people expressed strong indignation over Koizumi's wrongdoing and lodged a strong protest to the Japanese side, it said.
China and Japan are neighbors and they should co-exist in peace and friendship and seek for a common development, which constitutes an important revelation shown by the positive and negative aspects of the history of bilateral relations and is where the common aspiration and the greatest common interests of the two peoples rest, the statement said.
In recent years, the Chinese government and leaders, taking into consideration of the general situation of safeguarding Sino-Japanese relations and peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and world at large, have repeatedly made clear to the Japanese side the righteousness and consequences with the hope that Prime Minister Koizumi will wake up to his errors, consider the situation as a whole and not insist on having his own way, it said.
"All of these have fully revealed the political will and sincerity of the Chinese government and people who attach importance to Sino-Japanese relations," it stressed.
However, the document said, the Chinese side's sincerity and efforts did not win due responses, while right on the contrary, Prime Minister Koizumi, regardless of the achievements made by many ancestors and personages of insight from both countries in the past years for bilateral friendship, obstinately sticks to a wrong and dangerous course, "which cannot but outrage us," it said.
"Prime Minister Koizumi must shoulder all responsibilities for the severe political consequences resulting from his wrongdoing," it said.
"The will of the people cannot be insulted," the statement quoted a Chinese saying, adding that "anybody that goes against the trend of the times will let down both ancestors and descendants, and will finally 'lift a rock only to drop it on his own toes', it said.
Japanese militarism hurt the Chinese people most in the modern history. "Japan, as the party causing the sufferings, has every reason to correctly treat the tragic history and respect the painful feeling and emotions of the victims," it said, stressing that this is related with the political basis of Sino-Japanese relationship.
The Japanese government and its leaders have expressed their solemn promise and commitments towards the history issue on many occasions. However, in recent years some Japanese leaders have time and again eaten their own words and stirred up troubles on the history issue, which have severely hurt the Chinese people's feelings and imposed obstacles upon the normal development of Sino-Japanese relationship, it said.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War. The international community has held various activities to commemorate that period of history which once brought about heavy disaster to the world, in an effort to remember the lessons from the tremendous price paid by mankind, it said.
However, the Japanese right-wing extremists go against the current of the world, publicly distorting and negating the invasion history, it said.
As a government leader, Koizumi stubbornly keeps visiting Yasukuni Shrine, which honors 14 Class-A war criminals. "The move can not help attain the aim of what he claimed "reflection of history", but will fuel the tendency of distorting and negating the invasion history by the Japanese right-wing extremists.
In the 21st century, the statement said, Japan must show an earnest, sincere and responsible attitude, implement the principles of "learning from the history and facing up to the future" by taking convincing and concrete actions, co-exist peacefully with neighbors and take a peaceful development path on this basis if it really wants to gain trust from Asian neighbors and the international community and play a positive role in international affairs.
Also on Monday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Wang Yi lodged a strong protest to Japanese Foreign Minister Machimura Nobutaka forKoizumi's visit. "Koizumi must shoulder the historic responsibility for undermining Sino-Japanese relations," Wang said.
Chinese experts on Japanese study considered Koizumi's visit was obviously "long planned and plotted" even though he meticulously avoided showing up in his official capacity.
Koizumi's act sabotaged the political trust between China and Japan and could worsen the already cold Sino-Japanese relations, said Liu Jiangyong, a searcher with the prestigious Qinghua University.
Jin Xide, a professor with the Japan Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Koizumi's shrine visit "shakes the relations between Japan and neighboring countries as the importance basis of such relations lies on Japan's reflection on history."
The shrine visit will also "damage Japan's international image," he said, adding the move "disqualifying Japan to enter the core leadership of the United Nations," and "affect the high-level dialogue between China and Japan."
On the visit's impact on Sino-Japanese relations, Jin said the key to the relations should rely on enhancing the cooperation with the Japanese people. As two close neighbors, peace is conduvice to both and strife detrimental to both, Liu said.
Koizumi visited Yasukuni Shrine, where 14 WWII war criminals were enshrined, Monday morning. The visit was the fifth since he took office in 2001.
Koizumi's previous visits triggered waves of protest from Japan's neighboring countries, especially from China and the Republic of Korea, making the issue the major barrier for developing relations between Japan and the two countries.