China uses D-Day anniversary to praise Germany, slam Japan
A Swastika flag flies over the doorway of a power plant in Ningbo, a coastal city in eastern China, as the German manager meets soldiers of Axis power Japan arriving, on April 20, 1941. (AP Photo)
Japanese soldiers cheer as they hoist their flag from the roof of the central government building after they seized Nanking in the Second Sino Japanese War in Dec. 1937. The capture of the Chinese capital, known as the rape of Nanking, continued until 1945. (AP Photo)
Japanese troops that captured the Chinese capital of Nanking on Dec. 14, 1937 cheer and wave their flags after they breached the city's historic walls to capture the city during the Japanese Invasion of China during the second Sino-Japanese War. What the Chinese call the Nanking Massacre and others call the Rape of Nanking, a rampage of murder and rape by Japanese soldiers against a defenseless city continued for three months, claiming at least 150,000 lives. (AP Photo)
China's Chiang Kai-Shek, left, and his wife, Mme. Chiang Kai-Shek, right, sit with U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Britain's Prime Minister Winston Churchill, in Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 25, 1943. During the "Sextant Conference" the Allied leaders and Chiang Kai-Shek planned their next moves against Japan. (AP Photo/British Official Photo)
A Shinto priest (top) leads Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the altar as he visits the controversial Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo on December 26, 2013, in a move Beijing condemned as 'absolutely unacceptable'. Abe described his visit, which is certain to roil already-troubled ties in East Asia, as a pledge against war and said it was not aimed at hurting feelings in China or South Korea. AFP PHOTO/Toru YAMANAKA (Photo credit should read TORU YAMANAKA/AFP/Getty Images)
Protesters hold a banner with Chinese words "Don't forget Nanjing Massacre" and a picture of Emperor Hirohito during a rally to memory Nanjing Massacre outside Japan consulate in Hong Kong Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2006. Nanjing suffered a rampage of murder, rape and looting by Japanese troops in 1937 that became known as "The Rape of Nanking," using the name which the city was then known in the West. Historians generally agree the Japanese army slaughtered at least 150,000 civilians and raped tens of thousands of women. China says that as many as 300,000 people were killed. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
BERLIN - MAY 8: Russian Soviet army World War II veterans stand with flowers at the biggest memorial to Soviet troops, during a wreath laying ceremony marking the 60th anniversary of the surrender of Nazi Germany to Allied forces May 8, 2005 in Berlin, Germany. Soviet troops besieged and overran Berlin in the spring of 1945. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
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(Reuters) - China used the 70th anniversary of World War Two's D-Day landings on Friday to praise Germany for its contrition over its wartime past and slam Japan for what Beijing views as Tokyo's continued denial of its brutal history.
China has increasingly contrasted Germany and its public remorse for the Nazi regime to Japan, where repeated official apologies for wartime suffering are sometimes undercut by contradictory comments by conservative politicians.
Ties between the two Asian rivals worsened on Dec. 26 when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, which China sees as a symbol of Tokyo's past militarism because it honors war criminals along with millions of war dead.
"Germany's sincere remorse has won the confidence of the world," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily news briefing, when asked about the D-Day anniversary.
"But in Asia on the Asian battlefield, the leaders of Japan, which caused harm and which lost the war, are to this day still trying to reverse the course of history and deny their history of invasion," Hong added.
"What Japanese leaders are doing has been widely condemned in the international community. We again urge Japan's leaders to face up to and deeply reflect on the history of invasion and take real steps to correct their mistakes to win the trust of its neighbors in Asia and in the international community."
Japan's government and Abe himself have repeatedly said that Japan has faced up to its past sincerely.