Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned against whitewashing "past crimes of aggression" at a United Nations meeting, in a thinly-veiled barb at Japan's nationalistic moves to downplay Tokyo's wartime atrocities.
Wang made the remarks at a special meeting of the U.N. Security Council in New York on Monday as China holds the rotating presidency of the Council this month, according to Wang's speech posted on the Chinese foreign ministry's website.
In his speech, Wang implicitly accused Japan of trying to water down the legacy of its wartime militarism.
"There are still some who are reluctant to recognize the truth and even attempt to overturn the verdict and whitewash past crimes of aggression," Wang was quoted as saying.
Last month, more than 10,000 people in Japan filed a lawsuit against the country's liberal newspaper, criticizing the Asahi Shimbun for undermining Japan's national image with its reports on the Japanese Imperial Army's sexual slavery of women during World War II.
According to historians, up to 200,000 women, mostly Korean, were coerced into sexual servitude at front-line Japanese brothels during World War II when the Korean Peninsula was a Japanese colony. Those sex slaves were euphemistically described by the Japanese military as "comfort women."
Earlier this month, a group of American history scholars expressed strong protest against Japan's attempts to pressure a textbook publisher to change the description of Japan's wartime sex slavery.
The protest by American scholars came after Japan asked U.S. publisher McGraw-Hill to alter the description of the sexual slavery issue in one of its textbooks. (Yonhap)