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China Warns Japan About Shrine

August 11, 2000

BEIJING (AP) _ China warned Japan on Friday that a decision by Japanese Cabinet members to visit a memorial to Japan’s war dead could bruise relations with other Asian countries.

Before visiting Yasukuni Shrine, leaders should consider the feelings of nations invaded by Japanese troops during World War II, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua News agency.

Japan’s attitude toward visits to the Tokyo shrine ``directly concerns the feelings of the Asian people, including the Chinese people, who were victimized by Japanese militarism,″ Zhu said.

China and other Asian nations typically protest official visits to the shrine, which venerates, among others, convicted war criminals such as Gen. Hideki Tojo.

Several Japanese Cabinet members plan to visit the shrine Aug. 15, when Japan marks the 55th anniversary of the end of World War II. However, Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori has said he won’t make an official visit.

Yasukuni Shrine, built in 1869, honors some 2.4 million Japanese killed in battle since 1853.

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