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    And you’re one, too

    That Jun’ichiro can be a real card:

    Speculation is spreading within the Japanese government about why PRC Deputy Prime Minister Wu Yi actually canceled her meeting with Prime Minister Jun’ichiro Koizumi at the last minute and abruptly returned to China.

    “I don’t know why,” said the Prime Minister yesterday evening [the day the meeting was to have taken place], addressing the press about Wu’s conduct. “I don’t know,” he repeated seven times, oozing discomfort. “You know, maybe she’s been infected by our opposition parties’ habit of refusing discussion,” he cracked.

    The Chinese government has now indicated that the reason for Wu’s sudden departure was, indeed, the Yasukuni Shrine issue:

    “During Deputy Prime Minister Wu Yi’s visit to Japan, Japanese leaders made remarks on the Yasukuni Shrine issue that are damaging to China-Japan relations. China is extremely dissatisfied with this,” spokesman Kong Quan said in Beijing late Monday.

    Kong made the remarks hours after Wu canceled her talks with Koizumi and returned to China for “sudden official duty.”

    “The Chinese government attaches much importance on China-Japan relations and is continuing efforts to improve and develop ties. Deputy Prime Minister Wu’s visit to Japan is part of these efforts,” [Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman] Kong said, suggesting that Japan is responsible for her canceled meeting with Koizumi.

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