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China asks Japan to acknowledge history

Sept. 27, 2004 at 6:00 AM

BEIJING, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- China's new ambassador to Japan says there are serious political barriers to improved relations between the two countries.

Ambassador Wang Yi, who arrived in Tokyo earlier this month, said Japan must address historical issues and respect its 1972 commitment to recognize Taiwan as part of China, the South China Morning Post reported Monday. Wang's remarks were made in a speech to the Sino-Japanese Friendship Association, released Sunday.

Wang said that to break the stalemate Japan must acknowledge its invasion of China and stop hurting Chinese victims of aggression through the shrine visits.

He also said the two countries should work for peaceful development in Asia, where both had a strategic interest in the region's prosperity.

In a similar vein, Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo Monday told visiting Japanese legislators in Beijing that Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits to the Yasakuni Shrine for war heroes were preventing China from backing Japan's bid to join the U.N. Security Council.

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