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Abe denies Japan's history of aggression, FM spokesman

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has denied previous cabinets' statements about history by actions, a spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

"Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine is a political and diplomatic act. He has denied the spirit of the Kono and Murayama statements," Hong Lei told a regular press briefing.

The Kono Statement, issued by Japan's former chief Cabinet secretary Yohei Kono in 1993, acknowledged that the Japanese military and authorities forced Asian women into sex slavery during WWII, and pledged not to repeat historical mistakes.

The Murayama Danwa, issued by then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama in 1995, is regarded as a broader apology for Japan's war crimes.

In a bid to defend Abe's latest visit to Yasukuni, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday that it was neither a political nor diplomatic event and the current cabinet has never denied the Kono and Murayama statements.

Yasukuni is broadly seen as a symbol of Japanese militarism, with 14 convicted Japanese class-A WWII criminals enshrined there.

The Japanese government deliberately redacts military aggression from its history, neglects the hurts brought by Abe's acts to sentiments of the people in victim countries, and uses the Kono and Murayama statements as mere shields," Hong said.

"The Japanese side is saying one thing while doing the opposite, such a deceptive ploy will never fool the international community," he said.

Hong urged Japan to take a serious attitude, acknowledge its mistakes, change its track and regain the trust of its neighbors and the international community through substantial acts.

[Source: Xinhua, Beijing, 15Jan14]

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East China Sea Conflict
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