BEIJING, Sept. 7 -- China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Monday urged Japan "to stop being ridiculous" over its complaints about UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attending last week's World War II commemorative events in Beijing.
"It was very natural for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to attend the activities on behalf of the United Nations," said Hong Lei.
"We urge [Japan] to stop being ridiculous and making trouble," he added.
Tokyo formally complained to the UN at the end of August about Ban's plan to attend the Sept. 03 events, which included a large military parade. Japanese government spokesperson Yoshihide Suga questioned the UN's neutrality.
In an interview with China's state-run broadcaster CCTV that aired on Saturday, Ban said, "There is some misperception that the UN secretary-general or UN organization is a neutral body. It cannot be a neutral body in a sense. It is an impartial body."
He added that the main purpose of his participation was "to learn from the past and look for a better future."
The commemorations were held to remember history, pay tribute to war dead and cherish peace, Hong said. "These are also important elements of the UN Charter."
Part of the UN's role is to help prevent countries entering wars and "following the same old disastrous roads," according to the spokesperson.
"How can the UN be neutral on the issues of commemorating the anti-fascist victory as well as peace and justice?" Hong asked.
"I suggest [Japanese politicians] read the UN Charter carefully, face up to and reflect upon their country's history of aggression and work to win trust from neighboring countries and the international community," he said.