Beijing: China today protested against a Japanese minister`s visit to a controversial World War II shrine in Tokyo which is viewed here as a symbol of Japan`s colonial history.
"This once again shows the mistaken attitude of the current Japanese cabinet toward history," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement.
China has lodged solemn representations and protests with the Japanese side, he said.
Japan`s Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Yoshitaka Shindo today visited Tokyo`s Yasukuni shrine that honours, among others, convicted war criminals.
Hong said it has been an important basis of China-Japan relations since World War II that Japan earnestly faces up to and reflects upon its history of aggression, and distances itself from militarism.
"We urge the Japanese side to correct its attitude and heed the calls from neighbours and the international community to stop all provocation that runs counter to the trend of the times," he said, according to state-run Xinhua news agency.
The worship by Shindo to the shrine, which honours the 2.5 million Japanese war dead, including 14 war criminals executed for their crimes at the end of the World War II, is symbolic of Japan`s past militarism.
Visits by Japanese politicians to the shrine regularly trigger anger from neighbouring countries, especially China and South Korea, who consider it as a brutal reminder of Tokyo`s imperialist past and wartime aggression against its neighbours and its failure to repent for its history.