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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhang Qiyue's Remarks on Koizumi's Vow for Annual Homage to the Yasukuni Shrine

Q: It is reported that in a news program of Asahi TV on July 2nd, Prime Minister Koizumi reaffirmed that he would pay annual homage to the Yasukuni Shrine and asserted it to be ludicrous that his visit to China was hampered by his homage to the Shrine. What comment does China have on this?

A: Japanese class A war criminals, who committed heinous crime against China and other close Asian neighbors, are enshrined in the Yasukuni Shrine. China is firmly opposed to homage paid by Japanese leaders to the Yasukuni Shrine. We express our dissatisfaction and regret about the provocative remarks continuously made by Japanese leaders in defiance of the just appeal of the victimized peoples.

A correct understanding and treatment of the past history bear on the political foundation of China-Japan relations and stand as an important condition for Japan to genuinely win trust from Asia and the international community. We hope that Japanese leaders honor their commitment to remorse the history of invasion and refrain from any further moves that may hurt the feelings of the people in the victimized countries.

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