China media condemns Japan PM for paying homage to 'devils'

BEIJING Fri Dec 27, 2013 5:14am EST

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo December 26, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Toru Hanai

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BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese newspapers denounced Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday, describing his visit to the Yasukuni Shrine for Japan's war dead as paying homage to "devils" and warning that China could crush "provocative militarism".

On Thursday, Abe visited the shrine in Tokyo where Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals by an Allied tribunal after World War Two are honored along with those who died in battle.

The visit infuriated China and South Korea, both of which were occupied by Japanese forces until the end of the war, and prompted concern from the United States about deteriorating ties between the North Asian neighbors.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement Abe's visit to the shrine was "not conducive to lowering tensions in the region or to improving relations with Japan's neighbors".

In an editorial headlined "Abe's paying homage to the devils makes people outraged", the Chinese military's People's Liberation Army Daily said Abe's action had "seriously undermined the stability of the region".

"On one hand, Abe is paying homage to war criminals, and on the other hand, he talks about improving relations with China, South Korea and other countries," the newspaper said. "It is simply a sham, a mouthful of lies.

"Today, the Chinese people have the ability to defend peace and they have a greater ability to stop all provocative militarism."

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Abe's visit to the shrine "has already attracted the Chinese people's ire and denunciation".

"How can a person who is not willing to face up to their own history, to facts, win the trust of the international community or cause people to believe he has a role to play in maintaining regional and global peace and stability?" Hua said at a daily news briefing.

In a separate commentary published under the pen name "Zhong Sheng", or "Voice of China", the Communist Party's People's Daily said: "History tells us that if people do not correctly understand the evils of the fascist war, cannot reflect on war crimes, a country can never (achieve) true rejuvenation."

The Global Times, an influential nationalistic tabloid owned by the People's Daily, urged China to shut its door to Abe and other Japanese officials who have visited the shrine this year.

"If condemnations are China's only recourse, then the nation is giving up its international political rights easily," the newspaper said. "Ineffective countermeasures will make China be seen as a 'paper tiger' in the eyes of the rest of the world.

"In the eyes of China, Abe, behaving like a political villain, is much like the terrorists and fascists on the commonly seen blacklists."

A survey on China's Sina Weibo microblogging site on Thursday showed that almost 70 percent of respondents would support a boycott of Japanese goods, with many users expressing outrage at the shrine visit. The survey was later removed.

However, the topic was not one of the most talked about on Weibo, with people being more distracted by the latest celebrity gossip and the upcoming new year.

(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Additional reporting by Hui Li, Huang Yan and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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Comments (28)
Ataner wrote:
Abe doesn’t understand the pain Japan caused for millions. How could those vicious people deserve honor. Some were ok but most were vile and we can never find excuse for them or for those who would want to honor them.

Dec 27, 2013 12:17am EST  --  Report as abuse
Ataner wrote:
Abe doesn’t understand the pain Japan caused for millions. How could those vicious people deserve honor. Some were ok but most were vile and we can never find excuse for them or for those who would want to honor them.

Dec 27, 2013 12:17am EST  --  Report as abuse
Realtalk123 wrote:
if a country lost in a war, leaders in the country will be called a war criminal but if a country won in a war, the leaders in the country will be called a hero. Japan lost in WW2. There are ten of thousands tombs of Japanese innocent young men who were forced to fight in the war and died in Yasukuni besides a few tombs of war criminals. So it is a common sense for a Japanese leader to visit the Yasukuni shrine to pray for millions ppl who ‘involuntary” fought in the war and killed. Before Chinese Gov and Korea gov criticize Japan for JP’s internal affair, Chinese should stop genocide own ppl(Faulg Gong genocide) and stop genocide Tibetans, Mongols and Uyghur ppl (E Turkestan). Chinese communist gov has invaded those country between 1955 to 1970 and made them as its colony with force and genocide 10 millions those non Chinese Asians by 1995. China still has been brutally raping, torching and man-slaughtering ppl in Tibet, Mongol, and E Turkestan. Since China needs to conceal these ugly horrible truth from eyes of the world, China spent billions of $ and bribed many US and EU politicians and promoted anti- JP campaigns in China and oversea to block all news thru major media relates its genocide against other Asians. Korean Army Joined Vietnam War, had raped and massacred 300,000 Vietnamese. Before Criticize Japan for Yasukuni which is a just protocol for a Japanese leaders to visit Yasukuni to pray for a millions of dead, China should stop invade other Asian countries and stop rape, torture, enslave, manslaughter ppl immediately. South Korea should apology officially to Vietnam for its holocaust against Vietnamese in Vietnam war called “Raitaihan”

Dec 27, 2013 12:47am EST  --  Report as abuse
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