Japanese PM urged to face up to history

Updated: 2013-07-09 07:54


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BEIJING - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should face up to history and stop hurting the feelings of people in countries that Japan invaded in World War II, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman urged on Monday.

Hua Chunying made the comments at a daily news briefing in response to a question regarding Abe's words on history.

"Every country has pride in its history so what is important is to have mutual respect," Abe told a television show on Sunday.

"We are shocked at what the Japanese leader has said," Hua said, adding that it was 76 years ago to the day (July 7, 1937) that Japan launched an all-out war against China, known as the Lugouqiao Incident.

It is undeniable that Japan's invasion into and colonial ruling of its neighboring countries in Asia imposed great pain and disaster on the people there, Hua said.

What Japan should do is not "take pride in" but look up to and carry out self-questioning about the history of the invasion, she said, adding that the Japanese side should stop using history as a tool to hurt the feelings of Asian people.

"Again, we advise the Japanese side to listen carefully to the call of justice of the international community and face up to history in a sincere way," said the spokeswoman.

As for Abe's allegation that China is trying to "change the status quo by force" regarding the Diaoyu Islands, Hua reiterated that Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islets are an integral part of Chinese territory and have been since ancient times, and that China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands.

Japan's recent attempts to cause tensions and mislead international public opinion will not help address the problem, but further harm political and security trust between the two countries, Hua said.

Japan's occupation of the Diaoyu Islands has been illegal from the very beginning, and the Chinese side has never accepted it, Hua said.

"The Japanese side should stop all words and deeds to tarnish the image of China and make real efforts to improve bilateral ties," the spokeswoman added.