Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Tuesday, March 16, 2004
Koizumi to visit Yasukuni Shrine despite China's strong opposition
Report by Kyodo News Agency cited Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro as saying that he will continue to visit the Yasukuni Shrine. Junichiro made the remark when interviewed in Prime Minister's residence on Mar. 15 afternoon, news from China Daily online said.
Report by Kyodo News Agency cited Japanese Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro as saying that he will continue to visit the Yasukuni Shrine.Koizumi made the remark when interviewed in Prime Minister's residence on Mar. 15 afternoon, news from China Daily online said.
When talking about Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's strong criticism on his visits to the Yasukuni Shrine at the press conference one day earlier, Koizumi said that the relations between Japan and China are good. Even if he was going to visit the shrine in future, he hoped the bilateral relations could still be maintained.
In regard to the resumption of the mutual visits between Japanese and Chinese leaders, which have been suspended till now, Koizumi noted that he would be glad to visit China if the Chinese side would like him to do it.
Kyodo News Agency also reported that Japanese Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi intended to visit China during the first ten days of April. "In the past year, the two countries kept high-level mutual visits and I hope to visit China in April."
Kawaguchi hoped to have talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing during his China tour and meanwhile create a good diplomatic environment for the long tabled issue of the Prime minister's visit to China.
Premier Wen pointed out at the press conference after the closing meeting of the second session of the tenth National People's Congress on Mar. 14 that the mainstream of Sino-Japanese relations are generally good. After the resumption of the diplomatic relations, the two countries have made much headway in exchanges on politics, economy, civilian affairs, culture etc. Now the trade volume between the two countries has exceeded US$ 130 billion each year, and population exchanges overstepped three million and cities of friendship over 200.
Premier Wen stressed the main problems for Sino-Japanese relations lie in time-and-again visits by some Japanese leaders to the Yasukuni Shrine, in which are consecrated Class-A war criminals. This did tremendous harm to the feelings of the people in China and Asia at large as Japan's aggression to China led to the death of over 20 million Chinese. Japanese leaders should abide by the three political documents concerning bilateral ties, draw lessons from history and face the future. He said that Japanese leaders should do no more things that hurt the feelings of the Chinese people, and not affect the regular mutual visits of leaders of the two nations and the normal growth of bilateral relations. Premier Wen sincerely hoped that Japanese leaders would attach importance to the general situation of Sino-Japanese relations by adhering to the spirit of the three documents and push forward the Sino-Japanese friendly cooperation.