China VP 'very furious' over Japan's rightward move: lawmaker

BEIJING, Aug. 21 (Yonhap) -- Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang told a group of visiting South Korean lawmakers that he was "very furious" over Japan's shift to the right, and Seoul and Beijing agreed to take a coordinated approach to history issues with Tokyo, one of the lawmakers said Wednesday.

Zhang made the remarks during a meeting on Tuesday with eight South Korean lawmakers, led by Rep. Lee Byung-suk of the ruling Saenuri Party, Lee told a press meeting in Beijing.

The comments came days after Japan drew anger from both South Korea and China by allowing its Cabinet ministers to visit a controversial war shrine in its capital.

South Korea and Japan have been at odds over Tokyo's renewed claims to Seoul's easternmost islets of Dokdo, while the diplomatic standoff between China and Japan over a set of islands in the East China Sea, known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan, has become increasingly acrimonious over the past year.

"Vice Premier Zhang told us that he has been very furious over moves by some Japanese leaders to distort history and try to revive its militarism," Lee said.

During the meeting, the two sides agreed to press Japan to "establish a future-oriented relationship with neighboring countries based on Japan's repentant attitude toward its wartime history," Lee said.

South Korea, China and other Asian nations, where bitter wartime memories run deep, have long resented visits by Japanese leaders to the Yasukuni Shrine because the act is considered as glorifying Japan's imperialistic past.

The shrine honors Japanese war dead, including 14 designated as Class A war criminals by the Allies in the trials that followed World War II.

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