TOKYO, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga clarified Friday that a U.S. newspaper misquoted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's China-related remarks in an interview and led to misunderstanding.
Responding to Xinhua inquiry at a press conference, Suga said the Japanese government had clarified to China that the Washington Post incorrectly quoted Abe's words and led to misunderstanding.
Abe has repeatedly emphasized that Japan-China relationship remains one of the most important bilateral relationship for Japan and Japan will push forward the bilateral strategic and mutually beneficial relations through an overall perspective, Suga said.
The Washington Post published an interview with Abe on Thursday, quoting Abe as saying that China has a "deeply ingrained" need to spar with Japan and other Asian neighbors over territory.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Thursday that "the Chinese side was astonished at the report," adding it is rare for a country's leader to brazenly assault its neighbor and instigate antagonism.
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