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Saturday, May 21, 2005

Tokyo says no to Chinese resident's repair donation


Staff writer

The Foreign Ministry has rejected a 3 million yen private donation from a top official of a group of Chinese residents in Japan to pay for repairs to Japanese diplomatic compounds damaged in anti-Japan demonstrations in China, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday.

A senior member of the Kobe-based organization sent the check to the government in mid-April.

The ministry has withheld the name of the donor to protect his privacy.

"We greatly appreciate his feelings but we cannot accept this kind of private donation," ministry spokesman Hatsuhisa Takashima told a news conference.

The money was given after anti-Japan demonstrators threw rocks, eggs and plastic bottles at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing and the Japanese Consulate in Shanghai, shattering windows.

The donor said he sent the check as a "symbol of apology," urging Japan to use it for repairs to the buildings, according to a ministry official.

The ministry is returning the check, the official said.

Tens of thousands of anti-Japan demonstrators took to the streets in several Chinese cities in April, accusing Japan of whitewashing its wartime past in school textbooks approved by Tokyo earlier in the month.



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