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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on December 26, 2013

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a press conference on December 26, 2013.

Q: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said after his visit to the Yasukuni Shrine that he was to express condolence to those departed who fought and died for their country and that the peace and prosperity Japan enjoys is based on their death. Abe further claimed that Japan became a country of freedom and democracy that adhered to peaceful development after WWII and that it would keep fulfilling its obligation to world peace, stability and prosperity. What is China's comment?

A: History has already come to a conclusion on the war of aggression waged by the Japanese militarism. Who did the Japanese soldiers die for on the battlefield? Why should the Class-A Second World War criminals enshrined in the Yasukuni Shrine be subject to just trials? What kind of peace and prosperity is built upon their death? What the Japanese leader said is completely duplicity which confuses right and wrong and misleads the public opinion. Some Japanese politicians, on one hand pay lip service to democracy, freedom and peace, on the other hand, call back the ghost of militarism and whitewash Japan's history of aggression and colonialism. This is precisely an affront to democracy, freedom and peace.

We must make it clear: for those who are under the evil influence of militarism, who have no courage to face up to history and take responsibility and who blatantly challenge historical justice and human conscience and defy the outcome of WWII and the post-war international order, what entitles them to talk about freedom and democracy? How can they fulfill the obligation to world peace and prosperity?

Q: First, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong cancelled her meeting with the Association of Dietmen League for Japan-China Friendship. Is this a protest against Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine? Second, what other measures will China adopt other than protest?

A: You raised two questions and I will answer them together. Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine jeorpardizes the political foundation of China-Japan relations and erects new barriers to the improvement and growth of bilateral relations. The Japanese side must take all the consequences arising therefrom.

Q: After his visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, Abe expressed regret that visiting the shrine has become a political and diplomatic issue. He said that he utterly had no intention of offending the Chinese and ROK people, rather, he wants to build friendly relations with China and ROK with respect. What is China's comment?

A: I want to point out that the issue of the Yasukuni Shrine, in nature, is about whether Japan can adopt a correct view of and repent the history of aggression by the Japanese militarism. It concerns Japan's ties with its Asian neighbors, the political foundation of China-Japan relations, the outcome of WWII and the post-war international order and the peace and stability of Asia and beyond. I also want to point out that Japanese administrations and leaders have made statements on and commitments to the issue of history. Abe's visit grossly violates the principle and spirit of the four political documents between China and Japan. It is undoubtedly a major political and diplomatic issue of right and wrong.

If Abe truly respects Japan's neighbors and really wants to improve relations with Asian neighbors, he should go to the Memorial Hall for Compatriots Killed in the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Forces of Aggression, rather than the Yasukuni Shrine. Only if Japan truly regards history as a mirror can it has a future in its relations with its Asian neighbors.

Q: Does China consider recalling the Chinese Ambassador to Japan?

A: Regarding Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, China will lodge solemn representations with and strong protest against the Japanese side in Beijing and Tokyo.

Q: We commemorate Chairman Mao Zedong's 120th birthday today. What is China's response to the Japanese leader's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine on such a particular day?

A: Today marks the 120th birthday of Chairman Mao Zedong. This very moment reminds us of the year 1938 when the Chinese people were fighting arduously against the Japanese invasion. Comrade Mao Zedong said in his speech On Protracted War: China is a very big country. There is broad international support for China stemming from the progressive and just character of her war. The final victory will go to China.

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