,Chinadaily,Chinadaily.com.cn' >
  Home>News Center>World

Koizumi said he won't be swayed on war shrine
Updated: 2005-12-05 15:12

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Monday shrugged off China's cancellation of a customary meeting, saying he would not let his visits to a war shrine become a "diplomatic playing card."

"I am ready to talk any time. If they are postponing, that's not a problem," Koizumi told reporters.

China on Sunday called off a three-way meeting among the Chinese, Japanese and South Korean prime ministers in Kuala Lumpur this month. The trilateral has been held every year since 1999 on the sidelines of Southeast Asia's ASEAN summit.

The move came amid furor in the two neighboring countries over Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni shrine, which honors 2.5 million Japanese war dead including 14 convicted war criminals.

"Yasukuni is no longer an effective diplomatic playing card. It is not going to be that, even if China and South Korea attempt to make it so," Koizumi said.

China and South Korea, which were invaded and occupied by Japan in the 20th century,
shrine as a symbol of Japan's militarist past.

Koizumi has defied protests and visited the Shinto sanctuary five times while in office, most recently on October 17. He says he goes to the shrine to mourn Japan's dead and recommit the nation to pacifism.

China also ruled out any meeting between President Hu Jintao and Koizumi on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in November in South Korea.

Summit host, South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun, met Koizumi but said it was only to show him courtesy as a guest and used the encounter to denounce his visits to the shrine.

Koizumi's Yasukuni visits are also domestically controversial with numerous lawsuits filed against his pilgrimage, mostly on the grounds that it violates the constitutional separation of religion and state.

Man nabbed for intrusion at White House
Entire Crab Nebula under Hubble
AIDS awareness campaign
  Today's Top News     Top World News

Airbus mulls plane assembly in China



State banks not sold cheaply - regulator



China's economy to grow by 9.4 pct this year



DPP under pressure to improve mainland ties



Former 9/11 commissioners: US still at risk



Big income rise for farmers unlikely next year


  Saddam trial to resume with some hidden witnesses
  Former 9/11 commissioners: US still at risk
  Iraq ex-PM says survives assassination bid
  US missile, al-Qaida death bay be linked
  Chavez allies say victorious in Congress vote
  Iran's patience running out over nuclear issue
  Go to Another Section  
  Story Tools  
  News Talk  
  Are the Republicans exploiting the memory of 9/11?  
Manufacturers, Exporters, Wholesalers - Global trade starts here.