China dismisses Abe's call for talks-Eastday

BEIJING, Jan. 23 — China on Thursday dismissed Japanese Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe’s call for talks with Chinese leaders, arguing that it is

“We have repeatedly stated our position on this. The Japanese leader should
not dream of having empty talks while refusing to acknowledge his mistakes and
continuing to make negative remarks on China,” Chinese Foreign Ministry
spokesman Qin Gang told a regular press briefing.

He said China’s leaders are very busy, and prefer to dedicate time to things
that are more meaningful and useful.

“It is Abe himself who shuts the door for dialogue with China,” said the
spokesman, adding that the Japanese side should admit its errors, move onto a
new path and improve relations with China with real actions.

In December, Abe visited Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, where 14 Japanese Class-A
World War II criminals are honored, sparking protests from China, the Republic
of Korea(ROK), as well as international criticism. The visit caused further
deterioration in Japan’s relations with China and the ROK.

In an effort to justify the episode, Abe told the Davos forum on Wednesday
that his “praying for the souls of the departed” should be regarded as “quite
natural for a leader of any country in the world.”

Qin, however, slammed Abe’s words by calling on the leader to put himself in
the shoes of the victimized people.

“If the Japanese leader was the descendant of the victims of WWII, or of the
people forced to be wartime laborers and sex slaves, or of victims of
bacteriological tests conducted by Japan’s No. 731 unit on live humans in China
from the 1930s throughout WWII, would he still visit the Yasukuni Shrine?” Qin

The spokesman said the shrine was once a spiritual tool and symbol of
Japanese militarism, and the nature of Abe’s move is to glorify the aggression
and challenge the post-WWII international order.

China took note that there were five of six major newspapers in Japan voicing
opposition to Abe’s move, said Qin, who asked, “How can Abe win the trust of
Japan’s neighbors and the world if local papers do not even believe in him?”

He asked Japan to face up to history and draw lessons from it.

Qin also called on Abe to uphold a speech by former Japanese prime minister
Tomiichi Murayama in which he stated that Japan, through colonial rule and
aggression, had caused great damage and suffering to people of many countries,
particularly in Asia, and that no such mistake should be made in the future.

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China dismisses Abe's call for talks-Eastday
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