HOUSTON, Jan. 11 -- Chinese community in Houston on Saturday held a forum to voice their condemnation and concern over Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's recent visit to the war-linked Yasukuni shrine, calling his move "provocative" and "dangerous."
Houston, the fourth largest American city, is home to a large Chinese community estimated in hundreds of thousands. Representatives of some Chinese groups and organizations gathered Saturday at the Chinese Civic Center in Houston to attend a forum titled "Japan's rightist tendency and its impact on Asia-Pacific security."
Xie Keping, chairman of the Chinese Civic Center, said at the forum the right-wing political forces in Japan and their recent move sent worrying signals to the world. Abe's shrine homage was seen as an unrepentant view of Japan's wartime aggression and a flagrant challenge to the world order established after the World War II (WWII), Xie said.
The provocative move not only imperils regional stability in Asia, but also raises alarm to world peace, he added, calling on the international community, including the United States, to stand up against Abe's shrine visit to uphold justice and peace.
Other participants also vented their worry over the Japanese government's rightist tendency and a possible revival of Japan's militarism.
Chinese community in other U.S. cities have held similar activities or demonstrated outside Japanese embassies and consulates to protest against Abe's provocative shrine visit.
On Dec. 26, Abe visited the Yasukuni shrine that honors Japan's war dead including 14 Class-A convicted war criminals of WWII despite strong opposition from neighboring countries including China and South Korea, triggering worldwide criticism and condemnation.
The U.S. government expressed disappointment over the visit, saying the action would exacerbate tensions with Japan's neighbors.