China on Thursday voiced firm opposition to Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada's visit to the notorious Yasukuni Shrine, saying China will lodge solemn representation to Japan on the issue.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying announced the opposition at a daily press briefing.
Hua said that it was the ultimate irony that Inada on Thursday morning visited the war shrine, which honors 14 Class-A convicted war criminals among 2.5 million Japanese war dead from WWII, only a day after her visit with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Pearl Harbor, which has been dubbed by Tokyo as a "tour of reconciliation."
Some reports suggested that Abe's recent visit to Pearl Harbor is no more than a political show aiming to strengthen the Japanese-U.S. alliance.
Other than offering his "sincere and everlasting condolences" to the souls of the Americans killed by troops of the Japanese imperial empire, Abe issued no apology.
Hua said Inada's move once again reflected that a number of Japanese people were being bullheaded by straying from the historical truth, and that such activities would only make the international community more cautious toward Japan.
"We once again urge Japanese leaders to squarely face and deeply reflect upon the history of invasion," said Hua, calling on Japan to deal with issues regarding its attitude toward shouldering responsibility, both for history and the future.
Noting that a man cannot survive without credit, Hua urged Japan to fulfill its promises and commitment, and sincerely listen to the voice of justice from its domestic society and the international community.
The notorious Tokyo war shrine is regarded as a symbol of past Japanese militarism.
Hua on Tuesday said that Japan can never turn the page without reconciliation with countries in Asia, including China.
China was one of the main regions to suffer in the Asia-Pacific during the World Anti-Fascist War, with the Chinese people making major contributions to the victory.
Chinese military and civilian casualties totaled approximately 35 million, accounting for one-third of all deaths in WWII.