Monument dedicated to 8th century Japanese envoy vandalized in China amid islands dispute

      A stone monument dedicated to an eight-century Japanese envoy to the Tang Dynasty in the ancient Chinese city of Xian has been vandalized with paint. The incident is believed to have been prompted after Japan nationalized the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, which are even claimed by China and Taiwan.

The monument, which is about 5 meters tall, was built in a local park in honour of Abe no Nakamaro, a noted scholar who was a member of a Japanese diplomatic mission to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). According to the Japan Times, it was unveiled in 1979 to mark the signing of a friendship agreement between Xian and Nara , both former imperial capitals. Residents in the city said that the monument painted in red, black and yellow was seen on Friday. A character meaning ‘demolish’ has also been written in red paint.

According to the report, a resident in Xian in his 50s said that the monument was vandalized because the Imperial Japanese Military ‘killed so many Chinese people’ in the last century and that Japan still "has not reflected" on its militarist past.

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