China says Japan should respect victims of wartime 'aggression'
BEIJING (AFP) - China on Wednesday said Japan should respect victims of its imperial aggression after two of the country's cabinet ministers visited a war shrine, on the anniversary of Tokyo's World War II surrender.
China's foreign ministry said a key issue was "whether Japan can acknowledge and treat the history of imperial aggression in the right way, whether it can respect the feelings of victims in Asian countries, including China".
Equally important was "whether Japan can really look in the mirror of history, heeding its lessons, holding hands with Asian people to face the future", the ministry said, responding to the shrine visits.
"The power is in the hands of Japan itself," it added. "We hope Japan can keep its promise to deal with and reflect on its invasion history and take concrete measures to safeguard China-Japan relations." Mr Jin Matsubara, who handles the issue of Japanese kidnapped by North Korea, and land minister Yuichiro Hata made separate visits on Wednesday to the Yasukuni Shrine, which honours 2.5 million war dead - including 14 leading war criminals from World War II.