Abe's war statement may be in unofficial form: media

Updated: 2015-06-22 15:17


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TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe planned to issue a statement to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, but the format may fall into an unofficial one due to its possible historical revisionism color and potential criticism from neighboring countries, local media reported on Monday.

The prime minister would not seek the cabinet approval for the statement in a move to keep Abe's personal nature highlighted in the statement, Kyodo News reported, citing an unnamed government official.

The statement is likely to be issued in a format of Abe's personal opinion.

Official statements like the 1995 "Murayama Statement" and 2005 "Koizumi Statement" were all approved by then Japanese cabinets with signatures from all cabinet members, reflecting the Japanese government official stance on a certain issue.

Since some lawmakers within Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its small ruling coalition partner the Komeito Party required the prime minister to keep using the wordings of " heartfelt apology" and "aggression and colonial rule" in his upcoming statement, Abe is mulling to issue the statement without cabinet approval so as to make no compromise on the content of the statement.

"The prime minister does not necessarily have a particular preference for the format. What is more important is the content," Kyodo quoted the official as saying.

Abe reiterated that he will not use the key wordings expressed in the previous statements issued in 1995 and 2005, but neighboring countries including China and South Korea urge Abe to firmly uphold the core wordings in the previous official government statements which offered an apology for Japan's wartime barbarities to victim countries.

A statement without cabinet approval may allow the prime minister to say his statement is not an update of the previous war anniversary statements, Kyodo cited the source as saying, but analysts pointed out that the move may not prevent the statement from being criticized by neighbors.

Japan's Nikkei Daily also reported that the government also has a plan suggesting the prime minister to issue the statement ahead of the sensitive date of August 15, which marks the end of WWII.