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  • Aug 24, 2014
  • Updated: 1:05am

Shinzo Abe

Shinzo Abe is president of the Liberal Democratic Party and was elected prime minister of Japan in December 2012. He also served as prime minister in 2006 after being elected by a special session of Japan’s National Diet, but resigned after less than a year.

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Shinzo Abe seeks 'frank discussion' with China and South Korea

Japanese prime minister's call follows his controversial visit to shrine to war dead, but analysts say Beijing is unlikely to take up offer

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 January, 2014, 12:18pm
UPDATED : Monday, 20 January, 2014, 8:10am
 

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for "frank" summit talks with China and South Korea after his visit last month to a shrine that honours war criminals was heavily criticised by both neighbours.

China and South Korea have accused Abe of showing a lack of remorse for Japan's second world war atrocities and the three nations are also embroiled in maritime territorial disputes.

"We should hold a summit meeting and have a frank discussion," Abe told Japanese broadcaster NHK yesterday.

Foreign minister Fumio Kishida said on Friday that the leaders should try to resolve their disputes and urged Beijing to agree to a summit between Abe and President Xi Jinping .

Abe is portraying an image that Japan is suffering … But China is unlikely to have talks
DA ZHIGANG, AN EXPERT ON JAPAN

China and South Korea see the Yasukuni shrine, which honours 14 major second world war criminals, as a symbol of Japan's wartime aggression in Asia. The US and the EU also criticised Abe's visit.

Abe said a summit was all the more necessary because of the maritime territorial disputes, but added Tokyo would not make any concessions as a precursor to talks.

The shrine visit has prompted an international propaganda war between Beijing and Tokyo, with Chinese ambassadors overseas denouncing Tokyo as returning to militarism, while Tokyo paints China as a threat to regional security. The Foreign Ministry in Beijing has called Abe an "unwelcome" person, indicating a Xi-Abe summit is unlikely.

Zhou Yongsheng , a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, said Beijing was unlikely to respond to Abe's call for talks.

"Abe said he wants a dialogue because the international community is critical of the shrine visit," he said. "By calling for a dialogue, Abe is sending a signal that he has expressed his sincerity, but China and South Korea have rejected him."

Da Zhigang , an expert in Japanese affairs at the Heilongjiang Academy of Social Sciences, said Abe faces pressure from the international community, particularly from the US, to improve ties with its neighbours.

"Abe is portraying an image that Japan is suffering because of the strong reactions of China and South Korea," he said. "But China is unlikely to have talks with Abe and places the hope of improving Sino-Japanese ties with his successor."

Abe said his visit to the shrine was aimed at renouncing war and to pray for those who had lost their lives for Japan. "I want people to think about whether this is wrong. If they think about it, I think the misunderstanding will go away," he said.

Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse

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This article is now closed to comments

baysidedweller
What "frank" discussion if China cannot bring Diaoyu islands to the table?
Will have to see if there is any attitude change (Japan's) after US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns visit to South Korean, China and Japan. The most likely outcome is.....nothing.
Don't understand why Abe keeps bringing up "the door is always open to China and South Korea" when he is the one who closed the door. Does he think we are all 3 year old kids and can be fooled easily?
Rambo
The Japanese lives in the past believing that people are still stupid enough or desperate enough to believe Japanese lies and misinformation. If Japan is sincere Mr Abe should as PM kneel at the shrine of the comfort-women, Nanjing Massacre Memorial etc, apologise for war-crimes, pay reparations and then resign as Japanese PM.
daily
This guy is as big a hypocrite as it gets.............first he goes to the Shrine to honor all those war criminals and now he wants to hold talks to tell the others that he really didn't go there to honor the criminals.
What a joke.............this guy is a big LOSER and will eventually feel the wrath of karma.
superdx
Japan should exhume all those convicted Class A criminals from Yasukuni, they do not deserve to be buried there. Then Abe can visit as much as he wants. Germany would do the same if they discovered Nazis buried in their military cemeteries.
whymak
superdx:
Just hold for a minute. There are no deceased interred at Yasukuni Shrine. If you want to reenact the uncivilized 鞭屍三百 in our Chinese history, you have to do some research first to find the actual burial sites of these war criminals.
superdx
My mistake. Apparently it's more about spirits than actual deceased.
So, remove the spirits! Exorcise them! Burn incense! Seems to be fairly easy to do since it's all spiritual and metaphysical. Prayer is a real thing, so pray and these Class A war criminals will be gone. Peace in the Pacific at last.
XYZ
What's wrong with calling for talks? Is there a better option?
hongkiejj@malaysiaboleh
plentiful of good options I must say but below are 2 dat will make china or korea or any other country believe your sincerity.
1. call for worldwide press conference and condemn past atrocities and acknowledge the comfort women issues and vow not to visit ys anymore publicly ever.
2. visit nanking memorial and no need to talk. just bow as a gesture of an apology. action speaks louder than words. no need to kneel.
for diaoyu islands there is only one option.
1. we agree there is a dispute and we will further discuss going forward how to resolve it peacefully and calmly.
then we have talk and talk and have Chinese wine and sake later to celebrate the trust building relationship.
how difficult can dat be ???
XYZ
Your options amount to, "Do everything I demand and then we can talk". Good luck with that.
hongkiejj@malaysiaboleh
if there are better options...i'll be very very interested to know.

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