China 'seriously condems' Japan PM Abe's Yasukuni shrine visit, urges Tokyo to reflect on history
BEIJING (AFP/REUTERS) - China strongly condemned Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the flashpoint Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo on Thursday, saying it glorified Japan’s “history of militaristic aggression”.
“We strongly protest and seriously condemn the Japanese leader’s acts,” Beijing’s foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement immediately after Mr Abe’s visit to the shrine.
Yasukuni is believed to be the repository of around 2.5 million souls of Japan’s war dead, most of them common soldiers but also including several high-level officials executed for war crimes after World War II, who were enshrined in the 1970s.
“The essence of Japanese leaders’ visits to the Yasukuni shrine is to beautify Japan’s history of militaristic aggression and colonial rule,” Mr Qin said. “It is an attempt to overturn international society’s just ruling on Japan’s militarism and to challenge the results of World War II and the post-war international order,” he added.