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China urges Japan to make clean break with militarism

People walk past paper lanterns during the Mitama festival, celebrated since 1947 honoring the souls of the enshrined spirits and the fallen soldiers of Japan’s past wars, at the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on July 14, 2021. (BEHROUZ MEHRI / AFP)

BEIJING – Japan should be prudent about its words and actions on historical issues such as the Yasukuni Shrine and make a clean break with militarism, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said here Monday.

Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a daily news briefing in response to a question on Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida sending a ritual offering to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine, which honors 14 convicted Class-A Japanese war criminals from World War II and is deemed by neighboring countries to be a symbol of Japan’s past militarism.

Zhao said Japan’s recent move on the Yasukuni Shrine issue once again reflects its wrong attitude towards its history of aggression, and China has lodged solemn representations through the diplomatic channel.

Japan should earnestly abide by its statements and promises of facing up to and reflecting upon its history of aggression, be cautious in its words and deeds on historical issues such as the Yasukuni Shrine, make a clean break with militarism, and take concrete actions to win the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community, he said.

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