China 'firmly opposed' to Japanese officials' visit to Yasukuni Shrine
Beijing - XINHUA
China on Friday expressed resolute opposition toward Japanese lawmakers' visit to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine during a four-day autumn festival.
About 110 Japanese lawmakers from a nonpartisan group visited the Yasukuni Shrine on Friday morning, which honors convicted World War II Class-A war criminals along with war dead.
"China is deeply concerned with and firmly opposed to the negative trend related to the Yasukuni Shrine in Japan," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei in a press release.
Earlier the day, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dedicated a "masakaki" tree offering under the title of "prime minister" to the war-linked shrine.
Hong reiterated that only when Japan faces up to and reflects on its invasion history and draws the line at militarism can China-Japan relations achieve sound and stable development.
"We urge Japan to properly deal with the issues with a responsible attitude, honor its commitments on historical issues, and regain trust from its Asian neighbors and the international community through concrete actions," he said.
The lawmakers included members from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party as well as the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan and some other parties.
Some cabinet members, including Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi, may visit the shrine during the semiannual festival, according to media reports.