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星期五, 四月 22, 2005

Koizumi apologizes at the summit for Japan's past militarism

Koizumi, Hu 'to meet over crisis'

Friday, April 22, 2005 Posted: 1119 GMT (1919 HKT)

Koizumi apologizes at the summit for Japan's past militarism.

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has said he will meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao on Saturday, following weeks of strained relations between the two Asian powers.

Koizumi and Hu are in Indonesia attending a summit of Asian and African leaders, which was opened on Friday by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Koizumi's announcement follows his apology for Japan's wartime activities in Asia, made during his speech at the summit in Jakarta earlier Friday.

He expressed Japan's ''deep remorse'' and ''heartfelt apology'' for its wartime past.

Koizumi's remarks appeared to be aimed at smoothing relations with China.

But China's ambassador to South Korea, Li Bin, dismissed the remarks, saying "actions are more important" than words, The Associated Press reported.

Friction between the two countries has increased in recent weeks, with a string of violent anti-Japan demonstrations in China provoking demands from Japan for an apology.

China has refused, instead blaming Japan for not facing up to its wartime history.

Beijing has also expressed "strong dissatisfaction" by a visit Friday by Japanese lawmakers to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo.

The shrine honors about 2.5 million Japanese war dead, including executed criminals such as World War II-era prime minister Hideki Tojo.

Nearly 50 Japanese lawmakers visited the shrine Friday morning.

Takeo Hiranuma, a former trade minister, and Tamisuke Watanuki, a former speaker of the lower house, were among those paying their respects.

There were no Cabinet ministers among the group, which visited the shrine in observance of an annual spring festival, AP reported.

Another 119 lawmakers were represented by their aides.

In his Jakarta speech, Koizumi said: "In the past, Japan through its colonial rule and aggression caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations.

"Japan squarely faces these facts of history in a spirit of humility and with feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology always engraved in mind," he said.

Chinese demonstrators in cities such as Shanghai and Beijing have rallied in recent weeks against Tokyo's bid to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council.

They are also protesting over a textbook approved by Japan's education ministry that China says whitewashes Japanese wartime atrocities.

On Tuesday, a Japanese court turned down a lawsuit filed by the Chinese survivors of Japanese atrocities during World War II, a court official told CNN. (Full story)

Japan has apologized on numerous occasions for its wartime actions -- most notably in August 1995 when Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama expressed his "deep remorse" and "heartfelt apology" to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II.

China is Japan's biggest trading partner and there are concerns that diplomatic friction could have an impact on the both counties' economies.

Trade between China and Japan last year was worth about $167 billion. According to Chinese government statistics, Japan has invested in more than 20,000 projects in China with total actual investment of more than $32 billion.

However, Merrill Lynch Japan chief economist Jesper Koll told CNN that there would be "minimal economic impact" from the tensions, because both sides needed each other.

"It is a well-integrated economic relationship," he said.

Meanwhile, Japan's bid for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council is supported by the United States, a staunch ally of Japan.

On Monday, the new U.S. ambassador to Tokyo, J. Thomas Schieffer, was quoted by AP as saying: "We believe that Japan speaking with a louder voice in the world will actually increase the chances for peace and security."


Copyright 2005 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.



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22:40 发表在 2005反日风潮, 中日关系 | 查看全文 | 评论 (0)