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Statement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The People's Republic of China
2006-08-15 00:00

Today, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi paid another visit to the Yasukuni Shrine where the Japanese class-A criminals of WWII are remembered. The Chinese Government hereby lodges a strong protest against this act that gravely offends the people in countries victimized by the war of aggression launched by Japanese militarists and undermines the political foundation of China-Japan relations.

The top Japanese WWII criminals who are remembered in the Yasukuni Shrine planned and launched Japanese militarist aggressions and were responsible for committing untold atrocities in Asia and the world in modern history. By insisting on paying homage to the Yasukuni Shrine where these war criminals are remembered in disregard of the concern and opposition from the international community, Japan's Asian neighbors and the people in Japan, Prime Minister Koizumi is challenging international justice and trampling human conscience.

China was the biggest victim of the war of aggression launched by Japanese militarists; the Chinese people suffered enormously from Japan's War of Aggression against China. To see this part of history for what it was and handle it accordingly is the political foundation for the resumption and growth of China-Japan relations in the post-War period. It is also an important prerequisite for China and Japan to pursue a common future. Prime Minister Koizumi has repeatedly offended the Chinese people over the history issue. In doing so, he not only has cost Japan's credibility internationally, but will also lose faith of the Japanese people and damage Japan's national image and interests.

The sound growth of China-Japan relations serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples and will promote peace and stability in Asia and beyond. The Chinese Government and people will continue to work untiringly with all Japanese statesmen and people who value and are committed to China-Japan friendship on the basis of the three political documents and act in line with the spirit of "drawing lessons from history for the benefit of future relations" for the peaceful co-existence, enduring friendship, mutual benefits and common development of our two countries. We are confident that the Japanese people, with vision and foresight, will follow the trend of history, work to remove the political obstacle and help put China-Japan relations back on the track of normal growth at an early date.

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