China urged on Tuesday Japan to strictly abide by the consensus reached
between the two countries on overcoming political barriers in bilateral
Responding to a question at a press briefing on Japanese Prime Minister
Shinto Abe's offering to the Yasukuni Shrine, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang
Yu said Japan should respect its neighbors' sentiments.
didn't visit the shrine, which honors 14 Class-A World War II criminals and
other Japanese, in person but sent a masakaki plant for the annual spring
festival in late April under the name of prime minister, Kyodo News Agency said.
This is his first direct show of respect at Yasukuni since taking office last
Abe has adopted a strategy of staying ambiguous on paying respects to the
Japan's war dead since September, when he took over office from Junichiro
Koizumi whose repeated visits to the shrine soured China-Japan ties and angered
the Republic of Korea (ROK).
The ROK's Foreign Ministry called the move "very regrettable" and "running
counter to establishing a correct perception of history, which serves as the
basis of regional peace and stability".
"The Yasukuni Shrine issue is a grave problem affecting national sentiment
and the political foundation of bilateral relations," Jin Xide, a researcher
with the Institute of Japan Studies, under the Chinese Academy of Social
Japanese media reports said Abe paid 50,000 yen ($420) for the plant,
considered divine in Shinto religion, out of his own pocket.
Asked by reporters about angering countries that suffered under Japanese
invasion, Abe declined to either confirm or deny he making the offering.
"As I've said before, I want to continue to have the feeling of paying
respect to and praying for the souls of those who died fighting for their
country," he said.
Agencies contributed to the story