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Protests in Taipei, Beijing following Yasukuni Shrine visit

ROC Central News Agency

2012/08/15 18:22:40

Taipei/Beijing, Aug. 15 (CNA) Activists in Taipei and Beijing launched protests Wednesday against Japan's territorial claims over the Tiaoyutai Islands and a visit made by Japanese ministers to honor war dead at the Yasukuni Shrine the same day.

In Taipei, members of the Chung Hwa Baodiao Alliance and the Alliance for the Reunification of China gathered in front of the Japan Interchange Association -- Japan's de facto embassy in Taiwan in the absence of official ties -- to call on Tokyo to consider the feelings of countries that experienced Japanese aggression during World War II.

The war officially ended 67 year ago with Japan's unconditional surrender on Aug. 15, 1945, but many Asian countries have not forgotten nor forgiven Japan for invading their countries, said Chi Hsin, chairwoman of the Alliance for the Reunification of China.

Japan's claims on the Tiaoyutai Islands and annual visits by politicians to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine make it difficult for people from neighboring countries to believe Japan has sincerely reflected upon its aggressive actions in the past, Chi said, urging Japanese officials to think more deeply about their actions.

The Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo honors Japan's 2.5 million war dead, including 14 war criminals from World War II.

In Beijing, Chinese activists staged a protest in front of the Japanese Embassy.

Activist Li Wen noted that Wednesday marks the 67th anniversary of the Chinese nation's victory against Japanese fascism, and that China has always treated Japan with respect following its surrender. "However, over the last 67 years, Japan has not only refused to show remorse for its actions, but has also invaded China's Diaoyutai Islands," Li said.

The disputed Tiaoyutai Islands are claimed by Taiwan, China and Japan. In China, the Tiaoyutais are called the Diaoyutai Islands, while in Japan they are called the Senkaku Islands.

In July, Japan made moves to nationalize the islands, which sparked protests from Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong.

(By Liu Chien-pang, Tsai Su-jung and C.J. Lin)

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