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The Statement by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Visit to the Yasukuni Shrine

2013/12/26

On December 26, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, in total disregard of the strong opposition of the Chinese side, paid a blatant homage to the Yasukuni Shrine where Class-A war criminals of World War II are honored. The Chinese government expresses its strong indignation over the behavior of the Japanese leader which grossly tramples on the sentiment of the Chinese people and other Asian peoples victimized in the war and openly challenges the historical justice and human conscience, and lodges a strong protest and severe condemnation against the Japanese side.

The war of aggression waged by Japanese militarism brought not only untold disasters to the Chinese and other victimized Asian peoples, but also deep sufferings to the Japanese people. The Yasukuni Shrine is a spiritual tool and symbol of Japanese militarism in its war of aggression. To date, 14 Class-A war criminals who committed heinous crimes to the victimized Asian peoples remain honored there. The Japanese leader's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine is, in nature, an attempt to whitewash the history of aggression and colonialism by militarist Japan, overturn the just trial of Japanese militarism by the international community and challenge the outcome of WWII and the post-war international order. The perverse act of the Japanese leader cannot but give rise to high vigilance and strong concerns of Japan's close Asian neighbors and the international community over where Japan is headed.

China-Japan relations have been beset by continuous, serious difficulties since the Japanese side created the farce of "purchasing" the Diaoyu Islands last year. More recently, Japan has deliberately stirred up a "China threat" hysteria in military and security fields to undermine China's security interests. Instead of reining in his acts, the Japanese leader has gone out of his way to once again create a serious incident on the issue of history, thus erecting a new, major political barrier to the improvement and development of bilateral ties. The Japanese side must bear the responsibility for all the consequences arising therefrom.

I wish to state once again that only by facing up to and deeply repenting its history of aggression and truly "taking history as a mirror" can Japan develop a "future-oriented" relationship with its Asian neighbors. We solemnly urge the Japanese side to honor its commitment of repenting its past of aggression, take steps to correct its mistakes and remove their adverse impact, and take concrete actions to win back trust from its Asian neighbors and the international community at large.

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