China has criticized Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide’s offering to Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo to mark the start of its spring festival.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin criticized the move at a news conference on Wednesday after Suga sent a potted plant to the shrine under his title of prime minister.
Wang said Yasukuni enshrines class-A war criminals of World War Two, and that China strongly opposes Japanese political leaders’ wrong attitude.
He said China asks Japan to look squarely at its history of aggression, reflect on it, and work to win the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community through actions.
South Korea also expressed deep disappointment and regret.
The country’s foreign ministry published a spokesperson’s commentary on Wednesday.
It expresses “deep disappointment and regret over the fact that leaders of the government and National Diet of Japan have once again sent an offering to and paid respects at the Yasukuni Shrine which glorifies Japan’s history of colonial oppression and war of aggression.”
The statement urges “the leaders of Japan to squarely face history” and “demonstrate through action their humble reflection and sincere remorse for Japan’s past history.”
It says Japan should “keep in mind that these are the foundation for future-oriented development” of bilateral relations.
Yasukuni Shrine honors Japan’s war dead. Those remembered include leaders convicted of war crimes after World War Two.