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Shrine visit 'pouring salt into open wound'
(Reuters/China Daily)
Updated: 2005-11-24 15:53

Wang also said, however, that China did not view Japan as a rival and hoped to work with Tokyo for the good of the region.

"I am hopeful that Japan will play an even more constructive role in Asian cooperation. Of course, if Japan-China political relations develop, we can both do even more for Asia's future," he said.

Peaceful development benefits Japan, region

Also Thursday, a foreign ministry spokesman said that peaceful development is in the interest of Japan as well as the peace and stability of the region, reacting to a Japanese ruling party's promotion of a new draft calling for the possession of military forces.

"Due to historical factors, Asian countries are paying close attention to Japan's move to revise the constitution," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said at a regular press briefing yesterday.

The Japanese governing Liberal Democratic Party's new draft constitution, presented on the occasion of the party's 50th anniversary on Tuesday, calls for the possession of an official military for the first time since World War II and for the armed forces to get a more assertive international role.

Also at the briefing, Liu repeated the Chinese Government's opposition to Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine which honours 14-Class-A war criminals.

"We do not oppose the Japanese general public's visits to Yasukuni Shrine," Liu said. "But we firmly oppose visits by the Japanese leaders."

Liu also revealed that a Chinese fishing boat, including crew members captured by Japanese authorities in Japan's exclusive economic zone, had already been set free.

Japan seized the captain and detained a boat named "Zhelingyu 23675" on Monday, 82 kilometres southwest of Gotoo Shi in Nagasaki Ken because the captain could not produce a captain's certificate.

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