Japan protests Chinese memorial to Korean assassin as ties fray

20 January 2014 16:21
(QHA) - Japan has criticised a memorial built in China to commemorate a Korean independence activist who assassinated a prominent Japanese statesman in 1909, BBC reports. Ahn Jung-geun shot dead Hirobumi Ito, four-time prime minister of Japan and the first resident governor of then Japanese-run Korea. Japanese spokesman Yoshihide Suga branded him a "terrorist" after a joint Chinese-Korean memorial hall was opened in China's Harbin province. He is celebrated as a hero in Korea. "The co-ordinated move by China and South Korea based on a one-sided view [of history] is not conducive to building peace and stability," Mr Suga noted. But China said that Ahn was a "famous anti-Japanese high-minded person" and South Korea's foreign ministry said Ahn was a "widely respected figure", describing the assassination as a "courageous act", the AFP news agency reports.