China summons Japan envoy to condemn war shrine visit

BEIJING - China summoned Japan's ambassador Thursday to condemn visits by cabinet members to a controversial Tokyo war shrine on the 68th anniversary of Japan's World War II surrender, the foreign ministry said.

Beijing told the envoy it "strongly opposed and strictly condemned" the visits, ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement on its website.

Hong's statement also said that the visits "seriously hurt" the feelings of people in China and other Asian countries that suffered during the war.

The visits "fundamentally attempt to deny and gloss over Japan's history of invasion", the statement said.

"Only by seeing history correctly and learning from it can Japan embrace the future. We urge Japan to follow its promise to seriously examine its history and win the trust of international society through actions," it added.

"Otherwise relations between Japan and its neighbouring countries will have no future."

China reacts strongly to visits to the Yasukuni Shrine by Japanese politicians. Commentaries in state media earlier Thursday also condemned the visits.