Chinese, Japanese Ambassadors Continue Row
By | January 28, 2014

China’s ambassador to Cambodia on Monday rebuked her Japanese counterpart for defending his prime minister’s visit to a controversial shrine for Japan’s war dead, marking the third round in their bout of diplomacy by letter-to-the-editor.

In a letter published in the Chinese-owned Khmer Daily on Monday, Chinese Ambassador Bu Jianguo said the shrine visit had effectively shut the door on direct dialogue between the two countries.

The missives between the ambassadors started with a letter in local Cambodian papers from Ms. Bu two weeks ago calling Mr. Abe’s visit in December to the Yasukuni Shrine “a flagrant provocation to the peace-loving people of the entire world,” and accusing him of harming stability in the region.

Official visits to the shrine by Japanese premiers have always been a sore point with China. Among the 2.5 million war dead venerated there are several convicted war criminals, including 14 Class A criminals who were behind Japan’s brutal occupation of China during World War II.

In a reply to Ms. Bu’s letter published by a local paper last week, Japanese Ambassador Kumamaru Yuji said his Chinese counterpart had misinterpreted Mr. Abe’s shrine visit. He said Mr. Abe was not venerating war criminals with his visit and was striving to promote regional peace, not destroy it.

Not willing to let the matter rest, Ms. Bu published her reply to Mr. Yuji in the Khmer Daily on Monday, accusing Japan of hypocrisy and disrespect.

“Some Japanese politicians always talk about democracy, freedom and human rights but they don’t want to change their attitude toward history, war and invasion and they just deny,” she writes.

“This doesn’t only lack basic respect for the sentiments of people living in the victimized countries but is also a huge insult against democracy, freedom and human rights.”

Ms. Bu adds that Mr. Abe’s visit had struck a serious blow to relations between China and Japan, which are already locked in a potentially volatile territorial dispute over islands that lie between them.

© 2014, The Cambodia Daily. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced in print, electronically, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission.

LATEST

Police and deminers in Kandal province on Wednesday removed from a riverbank a 241-kg Mark 82 bomb, of the kind the U.S. dropped on Cambodia in the heavy bombing that took place during its war against neighboring Vietnam.

When two middle-aged novices emerged with signs protesting the development of disputed land near the tip of the Chroy Changva peninsula on Thursday, one of the country’s foremost anti-eviction activists was there to tell them they were doing it all wrong.

A “shadow cabinet” will be created inside the National Assembly once the CNRP’s lawmakers-elect swear into office, senior opposition party officials said Thursday, in a move that nine years ago saw an opposition lawmaker imprisoned on charges of inciting a rebellion.

While the Daun Penh district security guards have established a reputation this year for their brutal attacks on protesters, the security force assembled for the July 15 protest was also composed of less seasoned guards from other precincts, according to Daun Penh district governor Kuoch Chamroeun.

Government officials on Thursday said they are still waiting for the U.S. Embassy to make good on a 2012 offer to clean up several barrels of the riot control agent CS that were dropped on Cambodia during the U.S.’ war with Vietnam and which the U.S. has admitted supplying.

The Cambodia Daily | All the News Without Fear or Favor | The Daily Newspaper of Record Since 1993