China today said that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was "not welcome" by the Chinese people after he visited the controversial Yasukuni war shrine.
Abe "has fully exposed his hypocrisy by saying that he pays attention to the development of the relationship with China and is hoping to carry out dialogue with Chinese leaders," foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said.
"In fact, Abe himself closes a door of dialogue with Chinese leaders," he added at a regular briefing. "The Chinese people do not welcome him."
Abe sparked anger in China and South Korea last week by visiting the Tokyo shrine, which honours several high-level officials executed for war crimes after World War II and serves as a reminder of Japan's 20th century aggression, a source of bitterness for China and other Asian countries.
Abe told reporters that his country "should never wage war again" and that he wants to "build friendship with China and Korea with respect" in remarks after the visit.
"What Abe should do now is admit his mistakes with the Chinese government and people and change his course," Qin said.
The Global Times, a newspaper that is close to China's ruling Communist Party and often strikes a nationalist tone, after the visit suggested barring high-profile Japanese politicians and other officials who went to the shrine from visiting China for five years.
But asked if China will end high-level contact with Japan, or perhaps disinvite Abe from next year's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit -- which Beijing is hosting -- his response suggested the latter was not an option.
"On your... question about the APEC summit next year, we will deal with this issue in accordance with the regulations and common practice of APEC," Qin said. APEC, a forum run on the principle of consensus, holds annual summits which leaders usually attend barring domestic concerns of their own.
That was the case this year, when US President Barack Obama skipped the event in Indonesia due to battles with the US Congress over budget and debt issues.