Abe says Japan's future generations unnecessary to keep apologizing for wartime atrocities
Updated: 2015-08-14 18:21
TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday mentioned previous governments' apology for Japan's wartime past, but refrained from offering his own apology.
"Japan has repeatedly expressed the feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology for its actions during the war," the prime minister said in his statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. "Such position articulated by the previous cabinets will remain unshakable into the future."
But the prime minister also said that Japan must not let its future generations "be predestined to apologize."
Abe said that aggression and war should never be the means to resolve international disputes and Japan will abandon colonial rule forever, but he stopped short of mentioning directly Japan's past aggression and colonial rule before and during WWII.
In the 1995 landmark Murayama Statement, then prime minister Tomiichi Murayama directly stated that "following a mistaken national policy," Japan, "through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations."
Abe's remarks are being closely watched abroad for whether the conservative leader is watering down past apologies.