An International symposium in China on the comfort women issue was postponed, not cancelled, a source told the Global Times on Wednesday.
The clarification came after Tokyo-based Kyodo News reported earlier on Wednesday that the symposium was cancelled upon the request of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The symposium was originally scheduled for Friday at Shanghai Normal University, with about 60 experts from China, Japan, South Korea and North Korea, with the US expected to attend, Kyodo News reported.
The report said the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and the People's Republic of China on Sunday might have been the reason for cancellation. China did so because it is considering Japan's standpoint to improve ties between the two countries, the report added.
Guan Jianqiang, a law professor at the East China University of Political Science and Law, who was also invited to the symposium, said a sudden halt to the symposium confused participants, especially the foreigners who had visas issued for the event.
"True friendship between China and Japan should be based on friendship between the Chinese and Japanese people," Guan told the Global Times, adding that the anniversary should not affect the symposium.