China's foreign minister cautions Abe

China's foreign minister cautions Abe
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks at a press conference in Beijing on Sunday.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi cautioned Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over his historical views at a press conference in Beijing on Sunday, according to China Central Television, saying: "Japan was defeated in war 70 years ago. It must not be defeated again in its efforts to preserve common sense."

Wang said historical issues "have persistently caused turmoil in China-Japan relations. I can't help but ask where the cause of the problem lies."

He also said, "Will Japan keep and carry the heavy burden of history, or break with its past? Ultimately, Japan itself must make the choice."

This statement implied China's intention that Japan should carry on the content of the so-called Murayama statement when Abe releases a planned statement this summer to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

The Murayama statement, which then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama issued to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of the war, stated that Japan "through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to many countries," particularly Asian nations. It expressed "deep remorse" and "heartfelt apology."

China will hold an event to commemorate the 70th anniversary of what it calls its "victory in a war with Japan," on Sept. 3 in Beijing. According to Wang, "Leaders of all countries concerned and representatives of international organisations will be invited."

Wang did not rule out the possibility of an invitation to Abe, saying, "We welcome anybody if the person is sincere."

Russian President Vladimir Putin is considered certain to attend the Chinese event, and there is speculation that US President Barack Obama may be there as well.

Regarding details of the memorial event, Wang emphatically said, "Taking the practices of other countries as a reference, it is normal and natural to include an inspection of troops."

The Chinese government has announced that a military parade will be held in Beijing coinciding with the memorial event. It will be China's first military parade under the administration of President Xi Jinping.

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