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   Home-Specials-60th Anniversary of War Against Japanese Aggression-Sino-Japan Relationship
China puts off Japanese FM's visit
Latest Updated by 2005-10-19 10:22:39

China has postponed a planned visit by Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura, according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan on Tuesday.

The spokesman attributed the postponement to the "current gloomy situation". "The visit by Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura does not come at an appropriate time and it is inconvenient for China to receive him," Kong said at a regular press conference.

It is reported that Machimura was originally scheduled to visit China from Oct. 23-24.

On Monday morning, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited Yasukuni Shrine, where 14 WWII war criminals were enshrined, despite strong opposition from China and other Asian countries and their people. The visit was the fifth since he took office in 2001.

The Chinese people felt "deeply indignant" over Koizumi's latest shrine visit, Kong said.

"Koizumi's visit is a grave event," said Kong. China has a "very clear" stance pertaining to the Yasukuni Shrine, namely that the country is in firm opposition to Japanese leaders' visit to the Yasukuni "at any time" or "in any form", he said.

    "Prime Minister Koizumi cannot change the nature of his visit no matter what manner he adopts," the spokesman said, adding that it is only natural for China to react strongly over the issue.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Monday condemning Koizumi's visit. Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing urgently summoned Japanese Ambassador to China Koreshige Anami Monday and seriously read the statement, voicing strong condemnation for Koizumi's visit.

Such a move "wantonly hurts the feelings and dignity" of the countries and their people that were victimized during WWII and "seriously undermines Sino-Japanese relations", 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 a variety of activities to commemorate that period of history in an effort to remember the lessons of the tremendous price paid by humankind, it said.

However, as government leader, Koizumi obstinately goes on visiting Yasukuni Shrine, which honors 14 Class-A war criminals. "The move cannot help achieve the aim of what he claimed was a "reflection on history", but will fuel the tendency of Japanese right-wing extremists to distort and negate the history of the invasion, said the statement.

"Prime Minister Koizumi must bear the responsibility for the severe political consequences resulting from his wrongdoing," it said.

On Monday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Wang Yi also lodged a strong protest with Machimura regarding Koizumi's visit.

Kong said the Chinese government values Sino-Japanese ties, and has made "tremendous efforts" to develop bilateral relations.

Japanese militarism hurt the Chinese people most in modern history. In order to promote long-term Sino-Japanese friendship, the two countries should follow the spirit of taking history as a mirror and looking to the future, Kong said.

"Although the Japanese leaders made a promise on the issue, Koizumi's visit broke his promise to the Chinese people as well as to the peace-loving people around the world," Kong said. "Such wrongdoing will certainly bring severe consequences", he added.

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 to developing relations between Japan and the two countries.

Editor: Yan

 
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