China snubs Koizumi as it invites ex-premiers to Beijing Olympics

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The Chinese government has invited two former Japanese prime ministers to the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games but did not invite former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, diplomatic sources said Thursday.

The move is deemed as a protest by Beijing against Koizumi, who continued to pay his respects at the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, where war criminals are enshrined, while he was in office, according to the sources.

Former prime ministers Yoshiro Mori and Shinzo Abe were invited to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games to be held on Aug. 8.

Beijing is also reportedly hoping to invite Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda to the opening ceremony. There is a possibility that Chinese President Hu Jintao, who is scheduled to visit Japan on Tuesday next week, will formally invite Fukuda to the ceremony during their summit, the sources said.
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tyron256

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hmm... even if a shrine is for war criminals, why should he be excluded for payikng respects. i see how this could offend people but i dont see it as being that big of a deal.