Beijing, Dec 28: China’s State Councillor Yang Jiechi Saturday said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni shrine was a mistake that must be corrected.
“The Chinese people cannot be insulted, nor can people of Asia and the world be humiliated. Abe must own up to the wrongdoing, correct the mistake and take concrete measures to remove its egregious effects,” Xinhua quoted Yang as saying in a statement.
“We urge Abe to give up illusion and mend his ways, otherwise he will further discredit himself before Japan’s neighbours and the international community,” he said.
Yang said the issue of Yasukuni shrine boils down to whether or not the Japanese government is able to repent its militarist aggression and colonial rule.
“Abe is the prime minister of Japan. His visit to the shrine is by no means a domestic affair of Japan, still less an act by an individual,” he said.
Yang said that in total disregard of international opposition, Abe blatantly paid homage to the shrine where Class-A war criminals of World War II were honoured.
Abe’s visit to the shrine Thursday was the first by a serving Japanese prime minister since 2006.
Former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s annual visits to the shrine during his tenure from 2001 to 2006 were a major factor that affected ties between Japan and its Asian neighbours.