World

Japan says prime minister will not attend military parade in China to mark end of World War II

FILE - In this April 22, 2015 file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during their bilateral meeting on the sideline of the Asian African Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia. Abe will not attend a military parade in China next week to commemorate the end of World War II, the government's top spokesman said Monday, Aug. 24, 2015. (Kyodo News via AP, File) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT

FILE - In this April 22, 2015 file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, shakes hands with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during their bilateral meeting on the sideline of the Asian African Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia. Abe will not attend a military parade in China next week to commemorate the end of World War II, the government's top spokesman said Monday, Aug. 24, 2015. (Kyodo News via AP, File) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

A top government spokesman says Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will not attend a military parade in China next week to commemorate the end of World War II.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters Monday that the decision was made after considering his parliamentary activities and political schedule.

Although Suga cited Abe's schedule, an anti-Japanese theme of the parade could also be a reason. Abe has said he had hoped the event would not be anti-Japanese. Japan invaded China before and during World War II.

China says the parade is to mark the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender and to demonstrate a commitment to peace. But it comes as some countries express unease at Beijing's confrontational stance regarding regional territorial disputes, making participation in the parade politically charged.