Friday, December 30, 2016

Japan's Defense Minister Tomomi Inada's visit to Yasukuni Shrine 'ironic'

Beijing has denounced as "greatly ironic" the Japanese defense chief's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, which came shortly after she returned from accompanying Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on his visit to Pearl Harbor.

"This not only reflects some Japanese people's obstinately wrong view of history, it is also greatly ironic given the Pearl Harbor reconciliation trip," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Thursday at a regular news conference.

Hua was asked about Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada's visit on Thursday to the shrine, which honors Japan's 2.5 million dead during World War II as well as 14 Class-A war criminals convicted of plotting and carrying out the war. She said that Beijing would lodge a protest with Tokyo.

  • The visit came right after Inada returned from the trip with Abe to Hawaii. The two joined US President Barack Obama on Tuesday for the first visit by a Japanese leader and a US president to Hawaii's Pearl Harbor, to commemorate the victims of the Japanese attack in 1941.

The Chinese Defense Ministry also voiced "strong dissatisfaction and opposition" to the shrine visit on Thursday.

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