CHINA WANTS APOLOGIES FROM JAPAN
CHINA WANTS APOLOGIES FROM JAPAN
2005-04-24 at 10:12:00 am #9081
Chinese, Japanese leaders discuss lingering dispute
Koizumi downplays tensions; Hu says Tokyo must ‘seriously
- Chinese President Hu Jintao said Saturday that Tokyo needed to “seriously
reflect” following massive protests in China over Japan’s handling of its
wartime atrocities and urged Japan to back up its apologies with
But Japan’s Prime
Minister Junchiro Koizumi downplayed the tensions, calling for China not to be
affected by “temporary confrontations and differences of opinion.”
Hu’s comments came
in a rare public statement after meeting with Koizumi on the sidelines of the
Asian-African summit in Jakarta in a bid to ease the worst dispute in decades
between the two Asian powers.
It was the first top-level discussion since huge anti-Japanese
protests erupted earlier this month in major Chinese cities over Tokyo’s
approval of school textbooks that China claims play down wartime
reaction of the Chinese people and the concerns of people from other Asian
countries are something that the Japanese side should seriously reflect on,” Hu
told reporters after the meeting.
Hu said he and
Koizumi had exchanged views on their relations during the closed door talks,
which lasted 55 minutes.
“At the moment
Sino-Japanese relations face a difficult situation. Such a difficult situation
is not one we want to see,” Hu said.
If the row cannot
be resolved, “it would be detrimental to China and Japan and would affect
stability and development in Asia,” he warned.
Koizumi agreed that
the issue could affect regional ties but struck a more conciliatory note. The
two powers are linked by billions of dollars in trade and investment.
“Japan and China
have never needed each other as much as they do today,” Koizumi told reporters.
“We want to promote this relation … instead of agitating hostile
The Chinese president said China and Japan could improve ties if
Tokyo refused to support any moves toward independence by Taiwan. Taiwan and
China split amid civil war in 1949, but Beijing still claims the island as its
“The question of
Taiwan should be correctly handled. It is hoped that the Japanese side will
demonstrate through concrete action its adherence to the one-China policy and
opposition to Taiwan independence,” Hu said.
The meeting came a day after Koizumi offered the most public
apology in a decade over Japan’s wartime aggression in Asia. Koizumi’s
expression of “deep remorse” broke no new ground, but the rare appeal was a
clear attempt to reverse the worst erosion of ties between Tokyo and Beijing
since diplomatic relations were established in 1972.
But Hu said
rhetoric wasn’t enough.
for (Japan’s invasion of China and World War II) should be translated into
action and no move should be made to offend the people of China and the people
from other Asian countries.”
Hu, however, said
he hoped talks would help resolve differences between the two Asian
“We hope that the
two sides will work together to ensure the healthy stable development of
China, South Korea
and other Asian nations have long accused Japan of not apologizing adequately
for invading and occupying its neighbors, and Chinese animosities are aggravated
by their rivalry with the Japanese to be the region’s dominant power.
<>At least 12 million
Chinese citizens died in Japan’s assault on their nation in the 1930s and 40s.
Japan, an ally of Nazi Germany, conquered much of East Asia before its forces
surrendered in August 1945. Atrocities include mass sex slavery and germ
The dispute has threatened Japan’s bid for a permanent seat on the
U.N. Security Council. During a visit to India earlier this month, China’s
premier told Japan to face up to its World War II aggression before aspiring to
a bigger global role. It was the strongest hint yet that China might exercise
its veto as one of the council’s five permanent members to block
At the start of the
summit Friday, Koizumi expressed “deep remorse” for his country’s misdeeds. It
marked the first statement of remorse from a Japanese leader since
faces these facts of history in a spirit of humility,” he said.
remarks came just hours after a Cabinet minister and more than 80 Japanese
lawmakers visited a Tokyo shrine to Japan’s war dead including convicted war
Saturday he did not discuss the Yasukuni shrine with Hu.
In Tokyo, about 150
demonstrators, many of them Japanese nationalists, on Saturday marched
peacefully to protest anti-Japanese violence in China.
sun Japanese flags, the demonstrators chanted “Chinese government: Crack down on
anti-Japan violent protests!” and “Chinese government: Formally apologize to
In Beijing, there
was no sign of new anti-Japanese protests on Saturday, a day after the
government called on the public to end unrest that might damage economic ties.
Three busloads of paramilitary troops guarded the Japanese