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China Criticizes Abe's Offering to Yasukuni Shrine

China on Monday criticized Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's offering as well as visits by two ministers to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine during the annual four-day autumn festival.

Justice Minister Mitsuhide Iwaki and Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi visited the shrine on Sunday, and Abe sent a "masakaki" tree offering to the shrine on Saturday.

"Yasukuni Shrine honors Class-A convicted war criminals who were responsible for World War II. We have always opposed Japanese officials' wrong deeds related to the shrine," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.

China demands Japan face up to history and deeply reflect on its past aggression, make a clean break from militarism and gain trust from its neighbors and the international community with real action, she added.

Yasukuni Shrine honors 14 Class-A convicted war criminals among 2.5 million Japanese war dead from WWII. It is regarded as a symbol of past Japanese militarism.

Visits to the infamous shrine by Japanese leaders and officials have sparked strong criticism from China and the Republic of Korea.

(Xinhua News Agency October 19, 2015)

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