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December 8, 2021

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Controversial shrine visit ‘provocative act’

China yesterday said the visit to the Yasukuni Shrine by 99 Japanese politicians on the 80th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor and the launch of the WWII Pacific War is a “deliberate provocation.”

A group of 99 Japanese lawmakers, led by Hidehisa Otsuji of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, paid a visit to the shrine earlier in the day, marking the first such visit in over two years, according to Japanese media.

The Yasukuni Shrine is a spiritual tool and an important symbol for Japanese militarists to launch a war of aggression and it still enshrines 14 Class-A convicted war criminals from WWII, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian. He added that the Japanese politicians’ visit to the shrine once again reflects the Japanese side’s wrong attitude of not reflecting on its own history of aggression.

China is firmly opposed to the visit, Zhao said, urging Japan to profoundly reflect on its history of aggression, draw a line between itself and militarism, and take practical actions to earn the trust of neighboring countries and the international community.

China is strongly dissatisfied with and resolutely opposes the Japanese side’s negative movement on the Yasukuni Shrine issue and has lodged solemn representations with the Japanese side, said a spokesperson from the Chinese Embassy in Japan.

The essence of the Yasukuni Shrine issue is whether the Japanese government can correctly understand and treat its history of aggression, whether it can respect the feelings of the Chinese people and the people of countries in Asia brutalized by Japan, and whether it can abide by the statements and commitments made on the historical issues, stressed the spokesperson.


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