Beijing: China is "firmly opposed" to the Japanese government`s "wrongful attitude towards historical issues", the foreign ministry said on Friday after two cabinet ministers visited a controversial war shrine and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made an "offering".
The Yasukuni shrine "is a place that honours Class-A war criminals of World War II and whitewashes Japan`s war of aggression", spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement on the ministry website.
Friday is the anniversary of the Japanese surrender announcement that brought World War II to an end.
Chinese researchers say that the conflict, and the preceding invasion and partial occupation of China, cost the country 20.6 million lives, straining relations between the Asian powers to this day.
"The core of all the issues surrounding the Yasukuni Shrine is whether the Japanese government can own up to and adopt a correct attitude towards its history of aggression," Hua said.