Putin avoids criticizing Abe in interview with Chinese TV

Kyodo

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a recent interview with state-run China Central Television, stopped short of criticizing Japan over Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit last month to Tokyo’s war-related Yasukuni Shrine — a trip that infuriated Beijing and Seoul.

Alluding to Abe’s visit to the Shinto shrine dedicated to Japan’s war dead, as well as Class-A war criminals, CCTV asked Putin in the interview Friday to comment on “countries and forces in the world today that are trying to distort the results of World War II, deny its results and the world order that was created on that basis.”

“I would like to say that the outcome of World War II is unchangeable and it has been fixed by a number of international legal documents,” Putin said. “We will work continuously to implement these agreements.

“However, we will also strive to develop good neighborly relations with all countries of the world, and work together to strengthen international security,” he said. The president’s comments are believed to reflect his desire to strengthen Russia-Japan relations.

Last month, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich expressed regret over Abe’s Dec. 26 visit to Yasukuni Shrine, saying some forces in Japan have a different evaluation on the outcome of World War II from the understanding shared by the world.