Abe remains ambiguous on WWII statement as keywords urged to be included

Updated: 2015-08-12 09:26


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TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's upcoming statement to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II hit the headlines Tuesday as it reportedly may include the keywords of "aggression" and "apology" that Japan's closest neighbors - China and South Korea - have been paying close attention to.

Japan's Kyodo News said that Abe is "making final adjustments as to whether he will express a fresh apology." The agency quoted government officials as saying the Abe Statement will be longer than the 1995 landmark Murayama Statement since Abe is mulling the details of historical events that led to past wars it waged.

The move "is aimed at reflecting on why Japan failed to prevent itself from going to war," Kyodo cited one of the officials as claiming.

The historical details, however, may be narrated in a way that echoes the prime minister's historical revisionist idea that Japan was forced to launch a "war of self-defense" instead of " aggression" in the past, in efforts to satisfy the right-wing forces behind him.

Abe himself has reiterated that he will uphold the Murayama Statement as a whole but will not repeat the key wordings of " aggression and colonial rule" and "heartfelt apology" in his speech.

"It will be a great problem for Abe to say these words because he, from his bottom of heart, does not believe them," said Takeo Sato, a professor at Takushoku University, told a press conference on Monday.

"If he just wants to say it to get over the hump of the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, it will be a bad situation as everyone would think it is artificial," said the professor, adding that it will be "very problematic" for Abe to mention the keywords in a correct way.

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