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Junichiro Koizumi avoided discussing his controversial visit to Yasukuni Shrine during talks with top officials in Beijing in 2001 when he was prime minister, according to recently disclosed government documents.

The documents on the Oct. 8, 2001, meetings, which the Foreign Ministry recently released, show that then Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Premier Zhu Rongji both explained to Koizumi in their respective meetings that his visit to the shrine, which honors the war dead along with convicted war criminals, could hinder ties between the two countries.

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