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Japan brushes off China 'troublemaker' criticism

Published on Jan 16, 2014 4:10 PM
Mr Xie Xiaoyan, China’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and permanent Representative to the African Union, holds up a photo showing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a fighter jet during a press conference on Japanese and Chinese relations at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa on January 15, 2014. During the press conference he had strongly criticised Mr Abe who had just completed his visit to Ethiopia. --PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan on Thursday brushed off a bristling attack in which a Chinese diplomat branded Prime Minister Shinzo Abe a "troublemaker", saying Beijing's sentiment is inaccurate and ignores the facts.

The rebuttal came after China's envoy to the African Union fired the latest salvo in an increasingly bitter war of words between Asia's two largest economies with a dramatic display of pictures he said showed the results of Japanese atrocities during World War II.

In a press conference held the day after Mr Abe wrapped up a landmark African tour aimed at boosting Japan's presence in Africa, Ambassador Xie Xiaoyan accused him of trying to undermine Beijing's own diplomatic reach.

"Abe has become the biggest troublemaker in Asia," Mr Xie, who is also China's ambassador to Ethiopia, told reporters. "He has worked hard to portray China as a threat, aiming to sow discord, raising regional tensions and so creating a convenient excuse for the resurrection of Japanese militarism," the ambassador said at the news conference.

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