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Wang Yi Summons Japanese Ambassador to China and Lodges Strong Protest Against Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Visit to the Yasukuni Shrine
2013-12-26

In the afternoon of December 26, 2013, Foreign Minister Wang Yi summoned Kitera Masato, Japanese Ambassador to China, and lodged solemn representations and strong protest against Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine.

Wang Yi said, today Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, going against the tide of history, blatantly paid homage to the Yasukuni Shrine where Class-A war criminals of the World War II are honoured. It is the behaviour openly provoking international justice, and brazenly trampling human conscience. I, on behalf of the Chinese government, now lodge the strong protest and severe condemnation against the Japanese side.

Wang Yi pointed out that, the Yasukuni Shrine was once a spiritual tool and symbol of Japanese militarism in its war of aggression. To date, in total disregard of the opposition of people all over the world, the Class-A war criminals who committed heinous crimes remain honored there. The issue of Yasukuni Shrine is, in essence, boils down to whether or not Japan is able to correctly look at and profoundly repent its past of militarist aggression. It is a matter of major principle that bears on the political foundation of China-Japan relations. China, along with the peace-loving people all over the world, have always unequivocally and firmly opposed any visit by the Japanese leaders to the Yasukuni Shrine at any time in any form.

Wang Yi pointed out that, Shinzo Abe's arbitrary visit to the Yasukuni Shrine grossly violated the principle and spirit of the four political documents between China and Japan, and broke the commitment and promises of the Japanese governments and leaders on the issue of history. It errected a new and major political barrier to China-Japan relations which have already been beset by serious difficulties. China will never tolerate it. The Japanese side must bear all responsibility for the serious political consequences caused by the behavior of Shinzo Abe. If Japan continues to deliberately challenge the bottom line of China-Japan relations and heighten the tension between the two countries, China will take it on till the end. The perverse act of visiting the Yasukuni Shrine is the same way as lifting a rock only to drop it on Japan's own foot, and remain Japan in the dock before the tribunal of history. Abe's behavior has brought Japan to a very dangerous direction. The lesson of history is worth learning. The international community, including China, should be of high vigilance, never allow to turn the clock back to the backtrack of the history.

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