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In a move indicative of how concerns have grown over the tension between Japan and China, a major business lobby on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to stop his annual visits to Yasukuni Shrine, saying they are the main obstacle to improving relations.

The written proposal on future Japan-China relations released by the Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai) says Koizumi needs to reconsider his visits to Yasukuni, where convicted Class-A war criminals are honored as well as more than 2 million Japanese war dead. It also says the country needs to create a memorial that pays tribute to all victims.

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