Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing met Japan's
Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Shotaro Yachi in Beijing yesterday afternoon
against a worrying backdrop, after a Japanese rightist group announced plans for
a documentary film denying the 1937 Nanjing Massacre.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) shakes hands with
China's Premier Wen Jiabao before a bilateral meeting during the 12th
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Cebu, central
Philippines, January 14, 2007. Wen is set to visit Japan in April.
On Monday the group announced plans to make the documentary, in response to
new documentary film Nanking, from AOL Vice-Chairman Ted Leonsis, which is
inspired by Iris Chang's Pulitzer Prize-winning best-seller The Rape of Nanking.
film which won a coveted competition slot at the Sundance Film Festival is based
on interviews with 80 survivors and diaries and journals from eight Western
missionaries who were in Nanjing during the massacre.
Bombarded with questions about the rightist group's plans for their own
documentary at a regular press briefing yesterday, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman
Jiang Yu said: "The evidence of the Nanjing Massacre is irrefutable and the
international community long ago came to a consensus over the event.
"It would be conducive to better relations for Japanese to take a correct and
responsible attitude toward history so as to win trust from their Asian
Wen to visit Japan
Despite controversy over the film, Li told Yachi Premier Wen Jiabao would be
going ahead with a visit to Japan in April.
Yachi is in Beijing for a new round of Sino-Japanese strategic dialogues,
which started yesterday.
The talks, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo and Yachi, cover
bilateral ties and
issues of common concern.
The two countries launched their first round of strategic dialogues in
Beijing in May 2005, at which they agreed to continuing consultations.
The current series of meetings will end tomorrow.
Dorm case continues
Meanwhile, the Japanese Supreme Court has started hearings on the ownership
of a dormitory once home to Chinese students studying in Kyoto.
Guanghualiao (known as Kokaryo in Japan), was once a five-storey dormitory
that Kyoto University rented to Chinese students during World War II, according
to the Foreign Ministry's website.
The building has been occupied and used by Chinese students since the
Japanese surrender and without involvement from Taiwan's authorities, despite
Taiwan's "mission" in Japan purchasing the estate in May 1950 with funds raised
by selling properties the Japanese army had claimed in China during the war.
Although the estate was bought by Taiwan's "mission", the Chinese Embassy to
Japan and Consulate General in Kyoto have looked after the building and
contributed special funds for its maintenance, and it has continued to be used
as a dormitory by Chinese students.
Plaintiffs representing Taiwan's authorities first brought the province's
claim on the building to court in 1967.
It was overruled in 1977 at the Kyoto Local Court, but in its ruling and
review in 1982 and 1987, the Osaka High Court overturned the first ruling.
"The Guanghualiao case is not merely a property case, but
a political case concerning China's legitimate rights," Jiang said.