Jan. 2, 2014 – China has accused Japan of seeking to clear the name of war criminals after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to a shrine that honors the country’s war dead including senior officials convicted of the gravest war crimes.
Beijing’s UN mission in New York sent an email to reporters on Thursday stating China’s position on Abe’s visit, describing it as “a brazen challenge to all the victimized people in the Japanese militarist war of aggression and to the outcome of World War II and the post-war order.”
“Abe’s action is leading Japan down an extremely dangerous path and has gravely undermined regional peace and security,” the statement said.
It adds that the visit to the Yasukuni shrine “honors 14 Class-A war criminals of World War II as ‘heroes.’” Class A war criminals were those convicted by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East of the planning, preparation, initiation, or waging of wars of aggression.
China, as one of the victors in World War II, was awarded one of the five permanent seats on the UN Security Council. Articles 53 and 107 of the UN Charter still refer to Japan and the other axis powers, Germany and Italy, as ‘enemy states.’
The full statement sent by China’s UN mission is below.
– Denis Fitzgerald
On Twitter @denisfitz