Japan told to clear obstacles before ruling party election
Updated: 2006-09-19 21:23 BEIJING -- China on Tuesday urged the Japanese
government to "remove obstacles" to bilateral ties on the eve of Japan's ruling
"China hopes the Japanese government will honor its commitments and remove
obstacles to bilateral ties as soon as possible," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin
His comments came ahead of the leadership election for Japan's ruling Liberal
Democratic Party, which is scheduled for Wednesday.
"Japanese leaders should make political decisions and take actions to show
their regret and apologies for wartime aggressions," Qin said.
Sino-Japanese relations have been soured by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro
Koizumi's repeated visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, where Japan's war dead,
including 14 class A Second World War criminals, are honored.
Koizumi's last shrine visit on August 15, the 61st anniversary of his
country's surrender, further damaged relations.
Koizumi is set to step down in September. Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe,
the leading prime ministerial candidate, has defended Koizumi's pilgrimages to
the shrine and refused to say whether or not he would visit the shrine as prime
Qin said China had maintained a "clear and consistent" attitude on
China-Japan relations, including the Yasukuni Shrine and other historic issues.
The Chinese government demanded Japan should correctly view and handle the
history issue, Qin said. "This will not only help Japan mend ties with
neighbors, but also enhance Japan's international profile."