China Says Japan PM ‘Shuts Door’ on Talks with War Shrine Visit
Beijing- China said on Monday that its leaders will not meet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after his visit to a shrine seen by critics as a symbol of Tokyo’s wartime aggression, underscoring the deteriorating ties between Asia’s two biggest economies. Abe had repeated his hopes for talks with Beijing last week, when he visited the Yasukuni shrine where Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal after World War Two are honored along with those who died in battle.
The visit infuriated China and South Korea, both of which were occupied by Japanese forces until the end of the war, and prompted concern from the United States about rising tensions between the North Asian neighbors. Abe said then that relations with China and South Korea were important and he hoped “for an opportunity to explain to China and South Korea that strengthening ties would be in the national interest”.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a daily news briefing that “Abe has himself shut the door on talks with Chinese leaders”. “Since assuming office, Abe has miscalculated on Sino-Japan ties, and made mistake after mistake, especially visiting the Yasukuni Shrine which houses ‘Class A’ war criminals. These people are fascists, the Nazis of Asia,” he said.
“Of course the Chinese people don’t welcome such a Japanese leader, and Chinese leaders will not meet him.” Qin called on Abe to “admit his mistakes to the Chinese government and people”. South Korea said it would not now take part in talks on shared defense and intelligence agreements Seoul and Tokyo had been planning to hold next month.
“I hope there would be no acts next year which destroy trust between two countries or worsen the public sentiment by digging up the wounds of the past,” President Park Geun-hye said in a meeting with aides, reported by the Yonhap news agency. (Reuters)