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China calls for ‘warning’ to Japan

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Reuters

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. File photo: Toru Hanai

United Nations -

China on Wednesday called for a worldwide “warning” to Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for going to a contested war shrine as it took their mounting feud to the United Nations.

China's UN envoy Liu Jieyi said Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine on December 26 risked taking Japan down “a very dangerous path.”

Japan refuted the charge however and called for talks.

The international community must make “a warning to the fact that Abe must correct his erroneous outlook of history,” Liu told reporters at the UN headquarters in the latest diplomatic salvo at Japan.

“He must correct his mistakes and he must not slip further down the wrong path,” Liu told reporters.

China has reacted with fury to Abe's visit last week to Yasukuni which honours 14 war criminals among the country's war dead. China and Japan also have a bitter dispute over contested islands in the East China Sea.

Liu said Yasukuni “whitewashes and glorifies aggression and trumpets a militarist outlook of history.

“It is the incarnation of militarism of Japan and also a spiritual tool to wage wars of aggression against other countries,” he added.

Liu indicated that Abe's gesture could be a breach of the UN Charter and said the international community must work to avert “any erroneous attitude that might take a country down a very dangerous path.”

Yasukuni is widely seen outside Japan as a reminder of the country's 20th-century aggression against China and other Asian nations.

Abe said the goal of his visit was “to pledge and determine that never again will people suffer in war.”

“It was by no means to pay homage to war criminals or to praise militarism,” said Japan's UN ambassador Motohide Yoshikawa in a statement in reply to Liu.

Yoshikawa stressed Abe's appeal for direct talks with Chinese leaders to explain his visit. China has refused to hold talks. - Sapa-AFP


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