China issued a swift rebuke over Japan's decision to grant former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui a tourist visa. In a bluntly worded statement, the foreign ministry in Beijing urged Tokyo to reconsider its decision warning that allowing Lee's visit to go ahead would further damage Sino-Japanese ties, already weakened by a series of diplomatic spats. "We have already expressed very clearly to the Japanese side that Lee Teng-hui is a mastermind behind forces for Taiwan independence," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said. Beijing's ambassador to Tokyo, Wang Yi, described Lee as "a leading figure who is trying to split China." For his part Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi told reporters he saw no reason to revoke the visa, which he said had been granted for a family sightseeing trip.
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