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China Daily Website

Visit is 'unacceptable to the Chinese people'

Updated: 2013-12-26 17:17

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's decision to visit a shrine dedicated to militarism on Thursday is absolutely "unacceptable to the Chinese people", and the visit has created a huge political obstacle to bilateral relations, a senior Chinese diplomat on Asian affairs said on Thursday.

Luo Zhaohui, Director General of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, made the remarks at the beginning of an online interview and discussion with the public after he learned about Abe's plans to visit.

The veteran diplomat began his online talk in Beijing an hour before Abe visited Yaskuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honors 14 class-A war criminals.

"It is extremely damaging to the sentiments of Asian people, and is a major political obstacle to bilateral relations. Japan must shoulder the consequences," Luo said.

"Japan is the largest troublemaker in the region. We have paid great attention to the negative influence exerted by Japanese domestic politics and diplomacy on the regional situation," Luo said in response to a question about the situation in Asia.

Japan's political center of gravity has shifted to the right in recent years, amid a range of measures to loosen legislative restrictions on expanding its armed forces, Luo said.

Tokyo has been "flexing its muscles regarding issues concerning territorial sovereignty and history," he said.