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Japanese PM Koizumi Apologizes to the Chinese People(08/10/2001)

On the morning of October 8, the Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi who was on an one-day working visit to China visited the Lugou Bridge in Southwest Beijing and the nearby Memorial Hall of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and expressed “heartfelt apology and mourning” for the Chinese people who dies in Japan’s aggressive war.

Right after his arrival in Beijing, Prime Minister Koizumi headed for the Lugou Bridge that is the symbol in China marking the beginning of the Chinese people’s heroic resistance against Japanese aggression. In front of to the statue of the “iron and steel great wall” depicting the heroic Chinese people and soldiers in the anti-Japanese war, he laid wreath, bowed and stood in silent condolence. Koizumi is the first Japanese Prime Minister to lay wreath in this historic site.

Accompanied by the Director-general of the Memorial Hall, Koizumi watched the exhibitions on the September 18 Incident of 1931 and the July 7 Incident of 1937 and various other displayed relic items, including archives, guns, cannons, blood-stained clothes and pictures, which demonstrate the Japanese aggressors’ atrocities to the Chinese people. Koizumi made a speech after his visit, saying that he offers heartfelt apology and condolences to the Chinese victims of that aggressive war.  He remarked that Japan should make introspection over its history or aggression and should never launch any war in the future. Japan should adhere to the road of peace and development and work in coordination and cooperation of the international community. He also stressed that as the Japanese Prime Minister, he will work hard to develop the Japan-China friendly relations for that is very important not only for the two countries of Japan and China but for Asia and world peace as well.

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