Premier Wen Jiabao, in a rare interview with Japanese media, called on the country's leaders never again to visit the controversial Yasukuni war shrine, the Financial Times reported. Wen said that visits to the shrine, which honors several convicted war criminals among Japan's war dead, had "greatly affected" Sino-Japanese relations. The comments come shortly before Wen's scheduled visit to Japan, the first by a Chinese premier in seven years. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose predecessor Junichiro Koizumi made regular pilgrimages to the shrine, has declined to say whether or not he will follow suit. China's Foreign Ministry has confirmed that Wen will address Japan's parliament during his three-day visit that will take in Tokyo and the western cities of Kyoto and Osaka.
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