Japan on Wednesday raised objections to a Chinese newspaper's drawing of a map of the island nation with mushroom clouds overhead.
The Chongquing Youth News last week published a full-page map of Japan with the words "Japan wants a war again" and depictions of apparent atomic mushroom clouds above Nagasaki and Hiroshima -- the two cities that had nuclear bombs dropped on them by the United States at the tail end of World War II, the Associated Press reported.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told journalists that as the only country in the world to have come under nuclear attack, Japan would "never tolerate" such innuendo. He called the decision of the newspaper, which is run by a local branch of the Communist Youth League, to run the map "extremely imprudent" and said it "rattled the nerves of atomic bomb survivors and their families."
China is upset that Japan recently moved to reinterpret its pacifist post-World War II constitution to allow the country to use military force to defend allies such as the United States.
"We hope that Japan can learn lessons from history, go down the path of peaceful development, and avoid the repetition of historical tragedies," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said after he was asked to comment on the map's publication.
He said Tokyo's recent actions had been disturbing to Asian countries that experienced atrocities at the hands of Japanese military forces during World War II.