Japan must correct attitude as prerequisite for leaders' meeting: spokesman

BEIJING, July 11 (Xinhua) -- China on Friday urged Japan to correct its attitude on history and territorial issues as a prerequisite to mend strained bilateral ties.

"If Japan fails to correct its attitude, China-Japan relations cannot be mended," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a daily press briefing on Friday.

Qin's comments came after Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga,the top government spokesman, said it is natural for leaders of the two countries to meet on the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in November.

On the bilateral leaders' meeting, our attitude is clear, Qin said, stressing the current obstacles in bilateral relations were created by Japan.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit last year to the Yasukuni shrine, which honors WWII war criminals, erected a serious political obstacle to the strained relations. The visit is the first by a serving Japanese prime minister since 2006.

Qin said the Japanese leader's move deeply hurt the Chinese people's feelings and undermined the basis of China-Japan relations.

Regarding Suga's comments on territorial issues, Qin said the Diaoyu Islands are China's inherent territory and China exercises indisputable sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands.

China and Japan have seen few high-level political contacts since the Japanese government's "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands in September 2012, a move that contributed to the disintegration of bilateral relations.