BEIJING, March 1 (Xinhua) -- After Japan's prime minister defended leaders' visits to a shrine honoring war criminals, China on Friday urged Japanese leaders to honor their commitments on historical issues and act prudently.
"We expect Japanese leaders to honor their commitments on historical issues, act prudently, properly settle related issues and win the trust of Asian countries through tangible action," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a daily press briefing.
Hua's comments came in response to comments Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made on Thursday, when he said Japanese leaders' visits to the Yasukuni Shrine were justified.
Aggressive wars and Japanese militarism during World War II wreaked serious havoc on the people of China and other Asian countries, Hua said.
Japanese leaders' visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, where Japan's war dead, including 14 class A WWII criminals, are enshrined, prompts reflection on whether Japan would like to face up to its aggressive past and respect the feelings of the people of China and other victimized countries, Hua said.
Hua also reaffirmed that the Diaoyu Islands are China's inherent territory and China's sovereignty over them is indisputable.
The actions Japan takes on the Diaoyu Islands are based on the illegal seizure of Chinese territory, she said, stressing that Japan's so-called "current conditions" are illegal and invalid.
Hua called on Japan to abandon its fantasy, face up to history and reality, and make substantive efforts to properly handle and resolve the issue.
Japan intends to play up the "China threat," create regional tensions and mislead international opinion, which will not help to resolve the problem but further undermine political trust and security, Hua said.
"If Japan sincerely expects to improve bilateral relations, it should immediately stop the acts that defame China and make substantive efforts," Hua said.