Chinese media criticizes Abe for donating offering to Yasukuni shrine

BEIJING, Aug. 15 (Yonhap) -- China's state media criticized Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday for donating a ritual offering to a controversial war shrine in Tokyo, saying Beijing won't accept Abe's show of "compromise and sincerity."

Visits by Japanese leaders to the Yasukuni shrine have angered South Korea and Japan because it honors 14 convicted Class-A war criminals convicted after World War II. Abe, an outspoken nationalist, drew fury from both Seoul and Beijing by visiting the shrine in December.

Although Abe didn't visit in person the shrine this time, South Korea slammed Abe for sending the offering to the shrine earlier in the day to mark the 69th anniversary of Japan's defeat in World War II. At least two Japanese Cabinet ministers paid homage to the shrine earlier in the day.

In a commentary, China's state-run Xinhua news agency criticized Abe for sending "an offering Friday to the notorious Yasukuni shrine, which honors top war criminals."

"Such a show of 'compromise and sincerity,' as some put it, is hardly acceptable," it said.

Japan approved a resolution earlier last month that reinterprets a key article of Japan's pacifist Constitution to exercise the right of "collective self-defense," which means that Japan can fight abroad for the defense of its allies if they are under attack.

South Korea and China have kept a wary eye on Japan's move to expand its military role amid concerns that the power could be misused to repeat its former militarism.

The Xinhua commentary said, "With Prime Minister Abe at the helm, Japan, bent on shaking off its war-renouncing pacifist reins, has once again embarked on a precarious path and blatantly challenged the post-war international order of peace."

"By doing this, Japan is sowing the seeds of another war," it said.

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