China 'regrets' Japanese shrine visit
Updated: 2004-08-16 06:29
Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said Sunday that the nation expressed
"deep regret" over the visit of several senior Japanese officials and
parliamentarians to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine for war dead, including top World
War II criminals.
Three members of the Japanese cabinet and 58 parliament
members reportedly visited the shrine on Sunday.
The shrine is dedicated
to Japanese who have died in wars since 1853, including a number of convicted
It is seen by critics as a symbol of the militarist
regime that led Japan into World War II.
Yesterday was the 59th
anniversary of Japan's defeat at the end of World War II.
Sticking to the
principle of "learning from history" is good for the development of
Sino-Japanese relations and for Japan to win the confidence of its Asian
neighbours and the international community, Kong said.
The Chinese side
hopes that the Japan keeps its promise that it views history correctly and
questions its past invasions, Kong said.
It is also hoped that the
Japanese side will not do anything that will harm the feelings of the Chinese
people and the people of other countries that were victims of Japanese
militarism, he added.
Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who last
went to the controversial shrine on January 1, did not visit it
Koizumi said yesterday he would further to efforts to
"contribute to global peace" and "win trust from the world," suggesting the
continuation of the current policy to expand Japan's role in global
The premier, who had vowed to visit the shrine every year,
announced early this month that he would no go there, as he had already visited
on July 1.
The four pilgrimages made since he took power in 2001 evoked
fierce criticisms at home and abroad, especially from China and South Korea, who
suffered atrocities at the hands of invading Japanese troops.
development, a non-governmental organization was set up on Saturday in Nanjing,
East China's Jiangsu Province, to aid survivors of the Nanjing massacre by
Japanese invaders in 1937.
If people wish for peace, they should not
forget the history that more than 300,000 people were slaughtered after the city
were taken by Japanese troops, the Nanjing Daily quoted Qin Jie, one of the
survivors, as saying.
Nor should people forget those 400 people who
survived the atrocity and are very elderly, he added.
Qin was elected chairman of the newly established "society for aiding Nanjing
Those survivors need not only economic aid, but also
spiritual comfort, Qin was quoted as saying.
He said the survivors are
encouraged to attend the society's meetings so that they can support each other,
recall history and conduct patriotic education among young people.
launching ceremony on Saturday, 10 survivors received aid. One of them was Li
Xiuying, who was given 5,000 yuan (US$604).