Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yu abruptly canceled a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Monday and left a day early, prompting Japan to press China for an explanation. Although China did not issue a reason for Wu's early departure, the Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun said Japan warned that if China raised the issue of Koizumi's Yasukuni shrine visits honoring war criminals among other war dead, Japan would consider the move an interference in its internal affairs. Wu's trip was seen as a chance to mend bilateral relations between China and Japan, which have sunk to their lowest level in decades amid rows over Koizumi's visits to the shrine, approval of a textbook that critics say whitewashes Japan's wartime aggression and Japan's bid for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council. Chinese President Hu Jintao met with senior lawmakers of Koizumi's Liberal Democratic Party on Sunday and warned them that visits to the Yasukuni shrine were endangering Sino-Japanese ties.
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