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Commentary: Abe's visit to shrine to further dent China-Japan ties

(Xinhua)

08:42, October 18, 2012

BEIJING, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- Japanese opposition leader Shinzo Abe's visit of a controversial Tokyo war shrine on Wednesday afternoon was the latest of a flurry of Japan's provocative moves against China, and would further poison bilateral ties.

The visit hurt the feelings of both the Chinese people and citizens of some other Asian countries, who suffered brutal Japanese invasion and governance during World War II (WWII).

A former prime minister from 2006-2007, the 58-year-old Abe is most likely to retake the post if his Liberal Democratic Party wins general elections due to be held within a year.

While the visit might help Abe collect more votes, his tough stance against China, typical for the hawkish rightist Japanese politician, would only bring himself more trouble once he starts to deal with the thorny Sino-Japanese relations.

Japan's provocative handling of the territorial disputes with China over the Diaoyu Islands in East China Sea has angered Beijing, triggered public protests across major Chinese cities and brought bilateral ties to a new historical low.

Strained political ties have produced serious economic fallout for both sides, as bilateral tourism and trade have considerably lowered.


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