Prime Minister Koizumi's statements in China won't help genuine Japan-China
friendship: Akahata

"Japan will cooperate with the U.S., but will not use force in
implementing the law. This position is based on reflections of the past."

This is what Prime Minister Koizumi Jun'ichiro told Chinese President
Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji in Beijing on October 8 as he explained
his government bill to allow Self-Defense Forces units to support and take
part in a U.S.-led retaliatory war against terrorism.

On October 9 in the Diet, Prime Minister Koizumi said that Chinese
President Jiang in the talks referred to his visit to Yasukuni Shrine
(August 13), saying, "We are apprehensive that the Yasukuni visit might pave
the way for a revival of Japanese militarism."

Akahata of October 9 commented on Koizumi's remarks in Beijing as follows:

Japan's Constitution, established and based on reflections on the war of
aggression, renounces war and bans the use of force as means of settling
international disputes. Therefore, what the bill is intended to do conflicts
with the constitutional principles of peace.

This is why the Chinese leaders in the talks expressed their apprehension
of the proposed legislation in that the bill, if enacted and implemented,
will help enlarge the geographical scope of SDF activities, and they
requested Koizumi to be careful about the bill."

On August 13, Koizumi paid an official visit to Yasukuni Shrine, which
extremely aggravated Japan-China relations. Koizumi said that he didn't mean
to praise and justify the war, but had no words of reflection. Also on the
issue of next year's visit to the military shrine, he didn't promise that he
would not visit.

The prime minister's official visit to the war shrine amounted to making
clear internationally that the Japanese government has an affirmative view
of the past war of aggression.

After the talks with the Chinese leaders, Koizumi said that his China
visit was successful in dispelling misunderstandings between the two
countries, and that both sides agreed to cooperate in making next year's
events on the 30th anniversary of the restoration of Japan-China diplomatic
relations a significant success.

However, so long as the prime minister fails to fundamentally reflect on
the war of aggression, it is hardly possible for him to establish genuine
friendship between the two countries. (end)