Koizumi won’t budge on war shrine dispute with China – AFP
Japan’s leader stuck to his guns Tuesday in a bitter and emotional dispute with China, as lingering resentment over his visits to a Tokyo war shrine clouded day two of a Southeast Asian summit.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said he believed Beijing would eventually “understand” his controversial trips to the Yasukuni shrine, which have outraged China and South Korea.
Beijing and Seoul say trips to the shrine, which includes war criminals among its remembered dead, are a sign of Japanese militarism.
The dispute threatened to overshadow Koizumi’s meeting with the 10 Asean leaders of at which he offered 7.5 billion yen ($62.5 million) to fund closer Asean integration and $135 million to fight bird flu in Asia.