A mainland Foreign Ministry spokesman yesterday said the Japanese prime minister would deeply hurt the feelings of the Chinese people if he made another visit to the Yasukuni shrine. Noting that next year marks the 25th anniversary of the Sino-Japanese friendship treaty, Liu Jianchao said the two countries should use the occasion to deepen their relations. He warned that if Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi paid homage to the Japanese war dead - including executed war criminals - at the Yasukuni shrine, he would reopen historical wounds and damage the foundation of the relationship between the two countries. Mr Koizumi said on Tuesday that he was considering visiting the shrine again 'at an appropriate time'. Mr Koizumi, who came to office in 2000, is the first Japanese premier to have made yearly visits to the controversial shrine. Lu Guozhong, a researcher at the Institute of International Studies, a think-tank connected with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Mr Koizumi had tried to make the visit a routine to appeal to the rising conservative mood in Japan. 'At a time when the Japanese economy is depressed, politicians play up the nationalist feelings,' he said. Mr Lu said Mr Koizumi was taking a calculated risk, but he warned that the Japanese leader's actions were diplomatically short-sighted because it would undermine long-term co-operation and trust between Japan and its neighbours. He said that the 30th anniversary of normalising Sino-Japanese diplomatic ties last year could have been a major celebration. Instead, it became a low-key event following Mr Koizumi's second visit to the shrine.