HONG KONG -- More than half a century after World War II ended, relations between China and Japan are still marred by wartime events.

Beijing and Tokyo will mark the 30th anniversary of their establishment of diplomatic relations Sept. 29, but Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has still not decided whether to visit China to celebrate the occasion, apparently for fear of a dressing down for having again visited Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japan's war dead, including war criminals. Last year, he had flown to China to express remorse after visiting the shrine, and so it came as a shock when he did it again this year.

The Aug. 27 decision by the Tokyo District Court in a case in which 180 Chinese -- survivors and relatives of deceased victims of the Imperial Japanese Army's germ warfare -- sought compensation illustrates the extent to which Japan's attitude to the war is hobbling the progress of bilateral relations.