When Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi (
Top of China's demands is a promise from Koizumi that he will stop visiting the Yasukuni shrine, which honors 14 Japanese war criminals from World War II along with the 2.5 million Japanese people who died in wars since the 1880s.
China said Wu Yi canceled her meeting with Koizumi because he refused to rule out more visits to the shrine.
Without Koizumi's promise, China is likely to continue its opposition to Japan joining the UN Security Council.
Some analysts have said China might agree to Japan joining the Security Council if new permanent members are not given the right of veto, which is enjoyed by China and the four other current permanent members. The lack of a veto right for Japan would allow China to maintain a superior status in the UN body, but it may not be enough for Beijing.
"First of all, I think Japan will not give up the veto right. But even if it does give it up, it will only be temporarily or as a step towards having the veto right," said Liu Jiangyong (劉江永), a professor at the Institute of International Studies in Beijing's Tsinghua University.
Japan and the other G4 members seeking Security Council seats -- India, Brazil and Germany -- have reportedly offered to accept a right of veto frozen for 15 years. But Liu suggested this may not satisfy China and would only lead to a "fiercer dispute" in the future.
Japan recently said that Koizumi visits Yasukuni as a "private citizen," but this seems unlikely to appease critics in China and South Korea.
"We do not accept it, and it's impossible to accept," Zha Daojiong (
"From the diplomatic aspect, it is quite clear," Zha said. Koizumi's shrine visits "mean that China and Japan do not have the exchange of [leaders'] visits."
Chinese President Hu Jintao (
But Hu is unlikely to invite Koizumi to Beijing and will almost certainly repeat his demand in April that Japan must "back up its remorse for wartime aggression with action, and deal with historical issues in a prudent and serious manner."
Both Japan and the US angered China earlier this year when they issued a US-Japan security treaty that referred to the possible defense of Taiwan. Many Chinese scholars also see Koizumi as taking a tougher diplomatic line to appease right-wing interests in Japan.
Wang Xiangsui (
"If China doesn't react, Japan will gain interests [in the East China Sea]," Wang said in a commentary in state media. "If China does react, then Japan will spread the `China threat' ... and encourage the US to intervene and profit from it."