National

China chided over soccer outbursts

Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi conveyed to Beijing’s ambassador to Japan on Monday disappointment over the angry outburst by Chinese fans after Japan defeated China in the Asian Cup soccer finals.

Japan beat China 3-1 Saturday night at Beijing’s Workers’ Stadium.

Speaking to Wu Dawei during a meeting at the Foreign Ministry, Kawaguchi specifically referred to the smashing of the rear window of a Japanese Embassy car by angry Chinese fans and the burning of the Japanese flag after the game, a Japanese official said.

“There were disappointing acts throughout the series of games” played by Japan, Kawaguchi was quoted as saying by the official.

“But we believe the Chinese government did its utmost” to ensure the safety of Japanese officials, players and fans, she said.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s repeated visits to Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Class-A war criminals among Japan’s war dead, is widely viewed as one reason why many Chinese still harbor ill will toward Japan.

Wu said the Chinese government believes the Asian Cup tournament was successful “on the whole” but added it was difficult to prevent the fan outburst after the game, according to the Japanese official.

China mobilized 47,000 police officers for Saturday’s final, the ambassador said.

However, Wu also expressed regret that the Chinese government could not prevent such incidents from occurring.

“The acts of some of the fans were very unpleasant,” Wu was quoted as saying. “They were something the Chinese government did not want to witness.”

Coronavirus banner