Japan protests China newspaper’s map showing atomic clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Japan slams China over mushroom cloud map in newspaper By Demetri Sevastopulo in Hong Kong [image: Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida ...Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida pauses as he holds a press conference at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo on July 4, 2014. Japan on July 4 slammed China over its effort to highlight the past of Tokyo's wartime aggression amid a territorial dispute between the two countries, saying it is "utterly useless." AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGIKAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images]©AFP Fumio Kishida, Japan’s foreign minister Japan has hit out at China over a newspaper story that said Tokyo wanted another war and included a map showing mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in the latest ratcheting up of tensions between the two countries. The Chongqing Youth Daily, which serves the western metropolis, ran a map on July 3 titled “Japan wants a war again” in English and Chinese. It included mushroom clouds over the western Japanese cities that remain the only places to have been hit by an atomic bomb. The map appears to have been removed online since publication. “It is truly thoughtless to depict a mushroom cloud,” Fumio Kishida, Japan’s foreign minister, said on Tuesday. “As the foreign minister of the only country to suffer a nuclear attack and as a politician from Hiroshima, I cannot tolerate it.” The Japanese foreign ministry on Wednesday said that Tokyo had made a protest with the Chongqing newspaper. “We would like to refrain from saying the details of the conversation but the editor-in-chief said that the Chongqing Youth Daily itself decided to publish the map in the newspaper,” the ministry said. The incident marks the latest deterioration in relations between the countries whose ties have been severely strained since a bitter row over the Senkaku Islands – a chain in the East China Sea that Japan controls but China claims and calls the Diaoyu – broke out in late 2012. Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, and Xi Jinping, Chinese president, have yet to visit each other’s countries in spite of having both been in office for more than a year. Tensions started to ease late last year but rose again after December, when Mr Abe visited Yasukuni, a controversial shrine to Japan’s war dead, including a handful of convicted war criminals. During a visit to Australia on Tuesday, Mr Abe said Japan’s “fundamental position” was to improve relations with China, saying that, “the door to China is open from the Japanese side and we hope that the Chinese side take the same posture”. FT Video *China v Japan * March 5 2014: The stand-off over the Senkaku or Diaoyu islands, consumer boycotts and nationalist rhetoric have all increased the pressure on the relationship between Japan and China. The FT’s bureaux chiefs from the two countries, Jamil Anderlini and Jonathan Soble, talk to David Pilling, the FT’s Asia editor, about the possibility that the war of words could escalate into something more serious. His comments came a day after Mr Xi attacked Japan for failing to face up to its wartime past. Speaking on the 77th anniversary of the 1937 Marco Polo Bridge Incident, which sparked the Japanese invasion of China, the Chinese president said: “Anyone who intends to deny, distort or beautify the history of aggression will never be tolerated by Chinese people and people of all other countries.” Speaking in Beijing at a press conference with German chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, Chinese premier Li Keqiang also hit out at Japan, saying peace required countries to learn lessons of history. China likes to compare Japan to Germany, which is seen to have shown full contrition over Hitler and the Nazis. The comments by the Chinese leaders come on the heels of a decision by Japan to reinterpret its constitution to allow Japanese self-defence forces to defend allies under attack. While the change brings Japan closer into line with other countries, it has been vilified in China and South Korea because of its wartime history. China also reacted angrily last month when Mr Abe said at a defence forum in Singapore that Japan was willing to help countries in Asia that were facing threats from China , particularly in the South China Sea where China and Vietnam are mired in a dangerous spat over a disputed group of islands called the Paracels. *Additional reporting by Julie Zhu* Japan protests China newspaper’s map showing atomic clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki July 10, 2014 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Japan protested on July 9 to China over a newspaper’s depiction of exploding mushroom clouds in a map of Japan , calling it offensive. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that Japan, as the only nation to have suffered atomic attacks, will “never tolerate” such a depiction. It was “extremely imprudent” of the newspaper, he said. “And it rattled the nerves of atomic bomb survivors and their families.” The Chongqing Youth News carried a full-page color map of Japan, with the cartoon drawing of an exploding mushroom cloud over Hiroshima and Nagasaki and a title saying “Japan wants a war again.” In the map, the green Japanese archipelago on the blue background was marked with the names of the two cities and Tokyo, in both English and Chinese. It was unclear if the map was an advertisement or a graphic meant to accompany a commentary on the following page. The commentary, titled “Have we been too friendly to Japan in the past?” criticized Tokyo’s decision to allow Japan’s military to use force to defend its allies, an action previously banned as unconstitutional. The newspaper was published on July 3, two days after Japan reinterpreted its war-renouncing Constitution to allow a greater role for its military. A man identifying himself only by his surname, Zhang, who answered the phone at the editors’ office of the Chongqing Youth News, said the paper had no comment on the matter. The paper is run by the city of Chongqing’s branch of the Communist Youth League, an organization that grooms university students for roles in the Communist Party. Japan lodged protests to Beijing and the government of Chongqing, where the weekly paper is based. Tokyo also protested to the paper the day before. Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, who is from Hiroshima, called the paper’s allegation groundless and said Japan’s defense policy change is not intended to wage war. The two Asian rivals are major economic and trade partners, but have been disputed over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea and wartime history. Relations worsened in December after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the war-related Yasukuni Shrine that honors Japan’s convicted war criminals among the 2.5 million war dead. At the news conference on July 9, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei refused to comment directly on the map, while repeating Beijing’s position, saying recent Japanese actions have raised concerns among its Asian neighbors that suffered under Japan’s wartime aggression. He criticized Japan for repeatedly creating provocations over historical issues. “We hope Japan can learn lessons from history, go down the path of peaceful development, and avoid the repetition of historical tragedies,” he said. In the closing days of World War II, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945, killing 140,000 people, and a second one on Nagasaki three days later, killing another 90,000, prompting Japan’s surrender. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Japan upset as Chinese paper prints mushroom clouds on map [image: Photo] Tue, Jul 8 2014 TOKYO/BEIJING (Reuters) – Japan on Tuesday vowed to make a stern protest to China after a regional Chinese newspaper printed a map of the country with mushroom clouds hovering over the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and accused the Japanese of wanting war again. The neighbours have a long history of tense relations. Beijing bristles at Japan’s inability to properly atone for its invasion of China before and during World War Two, and its occupation of large parts of the country. The newspaper, the weekly Chongqing Youth News from the southwestern city of Chongqing, printed the picture in its latest edition, Chinese media reported, though it appeared later to have been removed from the paper’s website version. The picture showed a map of Japan with mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki – both of which were hit by nuclear bombs at the end of World War Two – and the words in Chinese and English, “Japan wants a war again”. A picture of the page was carried on the website of the Global Times, a widely-read tabloid published by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily. “As the butcher of World War Two, the blood on Japan’s hands has yet to dry,” the Chongqing Youth News wrote in an accompanying article that remains available on its website. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said the paper’s comment and the accompanying map were regrettable. “As foreign minister of the only country that has suffered nuclear attacks, and as a politician from Hiroshima, I cannot tolerate this,” he told reporters. “I issued an instruction to check the facts with the paper in question speedily through the consulate in Chongqing and, if it turns out to be true, to lodge a stern protest.” Calls to the newspaper seeking comment went unanswered. Its website says the newspaper is published by the Chongqing branch of the party’s Youth League. Japanese leaders have repeatedly apologised for suffering caused by the country’s wartime actions, including a landmark 1995 apology by then prime minister Tomiichi Murayama. Japan’s government, including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has repeatedly said that Japan has faced up to its past sincerely. But contradictory remarks from conservative politicians have cast doubt on that sincerity. (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takanaka and Ben Blanchard ; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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