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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Remarks on Japanese Cabinet Members' Visit to the Yasukuni Shrine


Q: Some Japanese cabinet members paid homage to the Yasukuni Shrine on August 15. What is China's comment?

A: Japanese cabinet members' visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, where Class A Second World War criminals are enshrined, is a blatant challenge to historical justice and conscience of mankind and severely hurts the feelings of people in China and other victimized Asian countries. Vice Chinese Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin urgently summoned Japanese Ambassador to China Masato Kitera this morning to lodge solemn representations and express strong protest and severe condemnation.

The issue of the Yasukuni Shrine is about whether Japan can correctly understand and deal with the invasion history of Japanese militarism and whether it can respect the feelings of people in China and other victimized countries in Asia. The attitude adopted by the Japanese in power on historical issues, such as the issue of the Yasukuni Shrine concerns the political foundation of China-Japan relations. No matter in what form and capacity do Japanese leaders pay homage to the Yasukuni Shrine, it is essentially an attempt to deny and whitewash the invasion history of Japanese militarism, and to challenge the results of the Second World War and the post-war international order. It will be firmly opposed and condemned with one voice by Asian countries including China and the international community.

I would like to reiterate that only by facing up to history and taking it as a mirror will Japan be able to face towards the future. We urge Japan to truly honor its statement and commitment of reflecting on its history of invasion and take concrete actions to win the trust of the international community. Otherwise, the relations between Japan and its Asian neighbours would have no future.

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