China urges Japan to send apologetic message on wartime responsibility

World Today

China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks at a China ministerial meeting at the 48th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 5, 2015. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

China urged Japan to send a “clear and correct” message on its wartime responsibility as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to make a statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II next week.

In a report released as a reference for his upcoming statement, a 16-member panel to Abe mentioned the country’s wartime aggression and colonial rule, but stopped short of saying whether the prime minister should apologize for the atrocities.

“China and other Asian countries as well as the world are watching the Japanese leader’s upcoming speech closely,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Friday, again urging Japan to face up to and reflect deeply upon the war launched by Japanese militarists.

“Japan should send a clear and correct message on the nature of the war and Japan’s wartime responsibility to gain trust from its Asian neighbors and the international community,” Hua said.

Abe has reiterated that he would follow the Murayama Statement as a whole but would not repeat such words as “heartfelt apology” or “aggression and colonial rule” in his war anniversary statement, maintaining there is no universal definition for “aggression.”

Many Asian countries have shown their concerns that Abe might dilute official apologies made by former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama in 1995 in his landmark statement.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also warned Japan not to “grapple with” China during a meeting his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida at the sidelines of the 48th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Kuala Lumpur.

During the talks on Thursday, which were requested for by the Japanese side, while both ministers highlighted the significance of boosting bilateral ties, Wang did ask that Japan take a serious and responsible attitude on historical issues.

Stressing on the potential for cooperation, Wang emphasized that Japan should put into practice its promise that China and Japan are partners, and not a threat to each other.

Japan should cherish and adhere to peace, and avoid meeting the same fate as in WWII, Wang said.

Story by Xinhua and CCTV News.