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Abe faces diplomatic backlash over shrine visit

English.news.cn   2013-12-31 14:24:01            

BEIJING, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is facing a diplomatic backlash after his provocative visit to the war-linked Yasukuni shrine.

Chinese foreign ministry on Monday labeled Abe as not welcomed by the Chinese people, declaring that Chinese leaders will unquestionably not speak with him.

"Abe has made wrong calculations on China-Japan relations and made one mistake after another," said foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang.

Since taking office, Abe has resorted to double-dealing tactics in addressing ties with China. In fact, Abe himself has shut the door on Chinese leaders, said Qin.

In a phone conversation with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Monday that Abe's move must prompt high alert of all peace-loving nations in the world.

For his part, Lavrov said Russia holds completely identical stance with China on the Yasukuni shrine issue and opposes Abe's visit to the shrine, deeming it provocation to its Asian neighbors.

He urged Japan to correct its erroneous historical view and avert further moves that will hurt the feelings of the victims of Japanese aggression in various countries.

Meanwhile, the United States, a staunch ally of Japan, said Monday that it is disappointed at the Japanese leader's visit to the controversial war shrine.

"We were disappointed that Japan's leadership has taken an action that will exacerbate tensions with Japan's neighbors," spokeswoman of the U.S. State Department Marie Harf said at a press briefing Monday, adding that "our message is very clear from the words we chose."

"Abe's trip is a serious foreign policy mistake that threatens allied security interests in Asia," said Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation think tank.

"Although Abe expressed severe remorse for Japan's historic actions, he should have realized that the visit was needlessly provocative and would exacerbate already strained relations with the United States and South Korea," Klingner told Xinhua.

Germany, an ally of Japan in World War II, also suggested that Japan should face up to the history.

"All nations must honestly live up to their role in the cruel war events of the 20th century ... only on the basis of an honest accounting is it possible to build a future," said German foreign ministry spokesman Steffen Seibert.

"This is a conviction that Germany takes to heart and applies to all countries in my opinion," said Seibert.

In another development, Abe's shrine visit has also stirred widespread condemnation in South Korea, a victim of Japanese invasion and colonization in World War II.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Monday appeared to criticize Japan for "digging up wounds of the past," the Yonhap News Agency reported.

"In the new year ... I hope that there will be no act of letting trust between countries crash and people's feelings deteriorate by digging up wounds of the past," Park said. Yonhap noted that her remarks were apparently directed at Japan, though she did not mention it by name.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se on Monday warned that Seoul will deal sternly with Japan's nationalist moves, saying further repercussions on the already strained relations between South Korea and Japan are inevitable.

Related:

Spokesman: Chinese leaders will not speak with Abe

BEIJING, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- Chinese leaders will not have any dialogue with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said here Monday.

"In regard to such a Japanese leader, the Chinese people will certainly not welcome him, and the Chinese leaders will unquestionably not speak with him either," Qin said at a regular press briefing.   Full story

China Voice: Enshrining war criminals goes beyond bilateral politics

BEIJING, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- Four days after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visited the Yasukuni shrine, and China will not let the incident go.

On Saturday Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi demanded Japan repent and correct the mistake, a rare statement from a senior official about a single incident.   Full story

Abe's visit to Yasukuni shrine foreign policy mistake: U.S. analysts

WASHINGTON, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's recent trip to the controversial Yasukuni shrine is "a serious foreign policy mistake" that poses diplomatic problems for the United States and threatens allied security interests in Asia, U.S. analysts said on Monday.

The trip is "a serious foreign policy mistake that threatens allied security interests in Asia," said Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow at the Washington-based Heritage Foundation think tank.Full story

Editor: Liu Dan
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