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Japanese leaders should stop hurting feelings of wartime victims: Chinese FM

  时间:2006-03-08 10:30    来源:     

Japanese leaders should stop worshipping war criminals and hurting the feelings of people in China and other countries having suffered from Japanese invasions during World War II, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said Tuesday.

"The crucial problem challenging Sino-Japanese political relations now is that certain Japanese leaders still insist on paying homage to the class-A war criminals who had launched and commanded aggressive wars," Li said at a press conference.

"This is an issue of very serious nature," Li told the press conference held on the sidelines of the ongoing annual full session of China's top legislature.

Not only the Chinese people but also wartime victims of many other nations will not accept the incumbent Japanese leaders' visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, where 14 Japanese class-A World WarII war criminals are enshrined, he added.

With regard to the history issue, Li reiterated, it is crucial that the Japanese leaders should "demonstrate enough sincerity and courage" to correct their "erroneous doings."

From 1931 to 1945, 35 million Chinese people died or were injured during Japan's war of aggression against China, accounting for about 8 percent of China's population at that time.

Li recalled a German official once told him that after World War II no German leader could ever say anything in support of Adolf Hitler or the Nazis and that Germans could not understand why Japan could keep doing such an amoral and "stupid" thing as visiting the Yasukuni Shrine.

He cited the unidentified German official as saying that war initiators should do nothing more to hurt the feelings of offspring of wartime victims again.

The minister reaffirmed China's basic principle of developing Sino-Japanese relations, saying that China will continue to make positive efforts to improve bilateral ties under the guidance of the five-point proposal raised by Chinese President Hu Jintao last April in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Li urged the Japanese side to abide by the three political documents and take actual actions to forge a friendly relationship toward the 21st century, and handle historical problems in a serious and sincere manner, echoing Hu's proposals put forward during talks with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on the sidelines of the Asian-African summit in Jakarta on April 23, 2005.

Differences between the two nations need to be resolved through dialogues and peaceful negotiations, while extensive exchanges and cooperation, and friendly non-governmental contacts should be reinforced, the minister added.

Li also called on Japan to fulfill its commitments concerning the Taiwan issue through concrete actions.

As for the East China Sea dispute between China and Japan, Li admitted that the two neighbors still have different views on it, but both sides expect to handle the divergences through negotiation and cooperation.

Earlier Tuesday, China and Japan concluded the fourth round of "pragmatic and constructive" consultation on the East China Sea issue, and agreed to "hold the next round of consultation as soon as possible," Li said.

China and Japan have been engaged in talks on demarcation disputes over the East China Sea. Li said at the press conference that China's exploitation activities are conducted in its coastal water areas bearing no dispute.

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