China says Abe must repent for shrine visit

Updated: 2013-12-29 08:08

By Xinhua (China Daily)

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Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi on Saturday declared Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Yasukuni shrine was a mistake that must be corrected.

"The Chinese people cannot be insulted, nor can people of Asia and the world be humiliated. Abe must own up to the wrongdoing, correct the mistake and take concrete measures to remove its egregious effects," Yang said in the statement.

"We urge Abe to give up illusion and mend his ways. Otherwise, he will further discredit himself before Japan's neighbors and the international community," he said.

Yang pointed out that the issue of the Yasukuni shrine boils down to whether or not the Japanese government is able to repent for its past militarist aggression and colonial rule.

"Abe is the prime minister of Japan. His visit to the Yasukuni shrine is by no means a domestic affair of Japan and even less an act by an individual," he said.

Yang noted the matter of right and wrong concerns aggression versus nonaggression, justice versus evil and light versus darkness. It is a fundamental issue of direction about whether Japan's leader will adhere to the purposes and principles of the UN charter and stay on the path of peaceful development. He said it is a matter of principle that bears on the political foundation of Japan's relations with its Asian neighbors and the international community.

What Abe has done is pushing Japan down a dangerous road that undermines the fundamental interests of the people of all countries, including Japan, he said.

He added that such a move has already alarmed the international community and Japanese people of vision.

Yang said that, in total disregard of international opposition, Abe blatantly paid homage to the shrine where Class-A war criminals of WWII are honored. This act is a brazen affront to people of all countries that suffered Japanese aggression and colonial rule.

Yang said such a move is flagrant provocation to the peace-loving people of the world; a gross trampling of historical justice and human conscience; and an outrageous challenge to the world's victory in the war against fascism and the post-war international order established on the basis of the Charter of the United Nations.

"The perverse act by Abe has, as it should, aroused the firm opposition and strong condemnation of the Chinese government and people and the international community," he said.

Abe's visit on Thursday is the first by a serving Japanese prime minister since 2006. During his tenure from 2001 to 2006, Japan's then-prime minister Junichiro Koizumi's annual visits to the shrine were a major factor that affected ties between Japan and its neighbors.

(China Daily 12/29/2013 page2)