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China calls on Japan to face past after war shrine offering

Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso (2nd R) bows as he visits the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, in this photo provided by Kyodo April 21, 2013. RE
Japan's Finance Minister Taro Aso (2nd R) bows as he visits the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, in this photo provided by Kyodo April 21, 2013. RE

BEIJING (Reuters) - China said on Monday that Japan must face up to history and respect the feelings of those who were victims of wartime aggression, after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made an offering to a shrine seen as a symbol of Japan's former militarism.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the comments at a regular news briefing.

Sino-Japanese relations deteriorated sharply in September after Japan bought islets in the East China Sea claimed by Beijing, sparking anti-Japanese protests across China.

Ties have been overshadowed for years by what Beijing says has been Tokyo's refusal to admit to wartime atrocities committed by Japanese soldiers in the country between 1931 and 1945.

(Reporting by Megha Rajagopalan, Writing by Sui-Lee Wee)

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