China Protests Japanese PM's Offering to Controversial Yasukuni Shrine

Japan's PM's offering at Yasukuni Shrine, which honors WWII war criminals, sparks strong condemnation from China and South Korea, highlighting ongoing tensions over historical issues between the nations.

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China Protests Japanese PM's Offering to Controversial Yasukuni Shrine

China Protests Japanese PM's Offering to Controversial Yasukuni Shrine

The Chinese government has strongly opposed Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's ritual offering to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo on April 21, 2023. The shrine honors Japan's war dead, including 14 Class-A war criminals from World War II, and is viewed by China and South Korea as a symbol of Japan's past military aggression.

China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin condemned the move, stating that the Chinese government has made "solemn statements" to Japan regarding this "negative move." The Chinese Embassy in Tokyo issued a statement saying such offerings and visits "hurt the feelings of people in countries that suffered from Japan's actions during World War II," and urged Japan to face up to and reflect on its history of aggression.

South Korea also protested against Kishida's offering, expressing "deep disappointment" and urging Japanese leaders to show repentance for their wartime past. The South Korean government stated that the shrine "glorifies Japan's past wars of aggression and enshrines war criminals."

Around 90 Japanese lawmakers, including members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, visited the Yasukuni Shrine during its three-day spring festival. The lawmakers stated that they visited the shrine to pass down the tragedy of war and the importance of peace to future generations.

Why this matters: The controversy surrounding the Yasukuni Shrine highlights the ongoing tensions between Japan and its neighbors, China and South Korea, over historical issues related to World War II. The shrine remains a sensitive diplomatic issue that continues to strain relations and hinder reconciliation efforts in the region.

The Chinese government has firmly rejected Japan's actions related to the Yasukuni Shrine and has lodged serious diplomatic protests with Japan over this issue. China has urged Japan to face its history of aggression, make a clean break from militarism, and earn the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community through concrete actions. The latest incident is likely to further strain the already tense relations between China and Japan over historical issues.

Key Takeaways

  • China, S. Korea condemn Japanese PM's offering at Yasukuni Shrine, a symbol of WWII aggression.
  • China urges Japan to face history, renounce militarism and earn trust of neighbors.
  • Around 90 Japanese lawmakers visited the shrine during its spring festival.
  • Shrine visit highlights ongoing tensions between Japan and neighbors over WWII historical issues.
  • Incident likely to further strain China-Japan relations over historical disputes.