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China Daily Website

Japan urged to keep commitments after Yasukuni Shrine visits

Updated: 2012-08-15 15:30
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - China has urged Japan to keep its promise of facing up to and reflecting on its invasion history, after two Japanese Cabinet ministers visited the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo.

On Wednesday,  Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said: "We hope the Japanese side will keep its promise and maintain the overall situation of the China-Japan relations with concrete actions."

He was commenting after the visit of Yuichiro Hata, Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, and National Public Safety Commission Chairman Jin Matsubara, to the shrine on the 67th anniversary of Japan's World War II surrender.

The shrine honors some 2.5 million Japanese war dead, including 14 major war criminals. It is seen as a symbol of Japan's past militarism by its Asian neighbors, including China and the Republic of Korea.

Qin said the crux of the Yasukuni Shrine matter is whether Japan will correctly see and treat its history of invasion, and respect the feelings of people in Asian countries including China, which suffered during that time.

He added that it is up to Japan to use history as a mirror and learn a lesson from the past, and to look forward with the Asian people, or not.

The ministers' visits were the first by Cabinet members under a government led by the Democratic Party of Japan, which came to power in 2009.

The 16 other current Cabinet members decided against visiting the shrine.