07/28/2006, 00.00
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Tensions between Tokyo and Beijing over Yasukuni Temple at ASEAN meeting

Tensions over visits by Japanese leaders to Yasukuni Temple continue. Meeting between Chinese and Japanese foreign ministers in Kuala Lumpur fail to find a solution.


Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews/SCMP) – Visits by Japanese leaders to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine continue to sour relations between Japan and China, officials on both sides said a day after high-level talks.

Despite good will, discussions between Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and his Japanese counterpart, Taro Aso, failed to reach any breakthrough on the issue.

The talks were the last such meeting before August 15, when several Japanese leaders are expected to visit the shrine to mark the 61st anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

It has become a tradition to see Japanese leaders at the War Memorial Temple, which in addition to honouring Japan's fallen soldiers, also contains the inscribed names of 12 class-A war criminals executed after the war.

Most Japanese leaders, including Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and the Chief Cabinet Secretary, Shinzo Abe, the leading candidate to replace Mr Koizumi in September, are going to make the visit.

Mr Aso, who did not talk about his discussions with Mr Li, did say though that the Yasukoni visits are a political obstacle that has yet to be resolved.

The two foreign ministers spoke for about 90 minutes in private, acknowledging the "great neighbourliness" between the countries.

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