China censures Japan over officials’ visit to Yasukuni Shrine

China has lodged stern representations with Japan after Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga sent a ritual offering to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine, which honors 14 convicted Class-A Japanese war criminals from World War Two.

The Yasukuni Shrine is seen by neighboring countries as a symbol of Japan’s war of aggression. Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, several cabinet members and some lawmakers have visited the shrine in recent days.

Hua Chunying, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, said in a statement that the actions of some political figures on the issue of the Yasukuni Shrine affronts historical justice and seriously hurts the feelings of people in victimized Asian countries, including China.

“It again reflects Japan’s wrong attitude towards its own history of aggression,” Hua added.

The Chinese side has lodged solemn representations with the Japanese side through diplomatic channels in both Beijing and Tokyo to register strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition, Hua said. She urged Japan to honor its statements and commitments on facing up to and reflecting on its history of aggression, and act prudently on historical issues, including the Yasukuni Shrine.

Hua urged the Japanese side to make a clean break with militarism, and win the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community through concrete actions.

She also recalled that 76 years ago, the Chinese people, together with the rest of the world, defeated the Japanese militarist aggressors and fascism and won a great victory of justice over evil, light over darkness and progress over reaction. Sunday marks the 76th anniversary of Japan’s defeat and unconditional surrender in World War II.

“This historic moment deserves to be remembered forever by the international community,” said Hua.

A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Japan on Sunday also urged Japan to learn lessons from history.

“History cannot be forgotten and the crime of aggression cannot be covered up,” the spokesperson said.