China responds to Abe's Yasukuni Shrine offering

Updated: 2013-10-17 19:13


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BEIJING -- China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Thursday responded to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe making an offering to Tokyo's war-linked Yasukuni Shrine by urging Japan to properly deal with the issues surrounding the controversial site.

Hua's remarks came as the shrine marked its annual autumn festival. Abe paid for a "masakaki" tree offering traditionally used in Shinto rituals at the shrine on Thursday morning but refrained from visiting.

The shrine, which honors Japanese war dead, including 14 class-A war criminals, is considered a symbol of Japan's past militarism.

Hua said China has repeatedly stated its attitude and position on the Yasukuni Shrine issue.

"We again urge the Japanese side to face up to and make real introspection for its history of aggression, respect the feelings of people in war-victim Asian countries, including China, and properly deal with relevant issues," she said.

Repeated visits to the shrine by Japanese cabinet ministers and lawmakers have been a major obstacle for Japan to mend ties with China and the Republic of Korea.

Abe also made offerings during the shrine's spring festival in April and on the anniversary of Japan's World War II surrender on August 15 this year.