CHINA / National

Japan's sensitivity on loans tapped
Updated: 2006-06-07 05:59

China feels regret that some Japanese make Japan's loans to China a sensitive issue, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said in Beijing yesterday.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao [file photo]
At a regular press briefing, Liu said Japanese loans to China or Sino-Japanese capital cooperation should be a positive element of the bilateral relations, and it will do harm to both sides to make it "very sensitive" by some Japanese.

Liu said the Chinese side welcomes Japan's declaration to attach importance to Sino-Japanese relations, but "attaching importance is not enough. We hope they can take sincere actions for the improvement and development of bilateral relations," he stressed.

Japan made a formal decision yesterday to end its freeze on the annual disbursement of loans to China for fiscal 2005 through March, Kyodo News reported.

The decision was made by a top decision-making panel on foreign aid strategy comprising Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, Foreign Minister Taro Aso and other Cabinet ministers, reports said.

Koizumi told reporters that the decision had been made after an overall assessment of the situation, adding that he "always attached importance" to Sino-Japanese ties, Reuters reported.

Decisions on annual disbursement of aid loans to China are often made by Cabinet ministers at year end. But the Japanese government delayed a decision on the aid loans in March due to the deteriorated China-Japan relations over Japanese leaders' repeated visits to a war shrine.

Emperor Akihito of Japan on Tuesday said Japan should remember the damage and pain its militarist past caused its own people and Asian neighbors, and called for more effort to ensure it never happens again.

Akihito, 72, also expressed concerns about fading knowledge of the past among Japanese born after the war, and said he hoped experts would come up with education guidelines to help the young respect other nations as well as their own.

"It's extremely regrettable that many lives, including those of the Japanese, were lost in the previous war," Akihito said at a news conference ahead of his June 8-14 trip to Southeast Asia with Empress Michiko.

"We should never forget the history, and continue our endeavor through mutual support with each nation so that we can make the world a place without conflicts," he said.

Japanese unfair ruling on 1932 massacre protested

Three Japanese and Chinese social groups have issued a statement protesting the rejection by the Japanese Supreme Court of a lawsuit filed by three Chinese survivors of the 1932 massacre known as the Pingdingshan Tragedy.

A citizen group from Fushu in northeastern Liaoning Province, the Japanese lawyers group representing Chinese victims and a Japanese citizens group supporting the Chinese survivors jointly released the statement on Monday.

The Japanese Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the survivors on May 16. The three plaintiffs, 83-year-old Yang Baoshan, 77-year-old Fang Surong, and the late Mo Desheng, were all in their childhood when the massacre took place. They sued the Japanese government for 20 million yen (182,000 U.S. dollars) and an apology.

The lawsuit had dragged through Japanese courts since 1996 but it has now exhausted all legal avenues of appeal in Japan. The case had been previously rejected by Tokyo District Court and the Tokyo High Court. All the courts cited the Japanese government's immunity from responsibility for damage inflicted prior to the enactment of the State Compensation Law.

"We will always be with the Chinese plaintiffs and continue to try and get the Japanese government to admit the facts and offer an apology to all the victims of the massacre," said Izumisawa Akira, a representative of the Japanese lawyers group.

In the Pingdingshan Massacre, the invading Japanese troops rounded up some 3,000 civilians in the village and executed them using machine guns. There were only a handful of survivors.

Following the massacre, the Japanese soldiers burned the bodies and buried the remains by triggering a landslide with dynamite. China excavated part of the site in 1970.


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