Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe will "express remorse" for World War II, the Associated Press reports.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that his government would express remorse for World War II on the 70th anniversary of its end in August.
Abe is known for his nationalist views, and many analysts have speculated that he may downplay Japan's responsibility for the war. At a year-opening news conference Monday, he sought to reassure the world that he wouldn't veer from past official statements on Japan's wartime responsibility.
"The Abe Cabinet will uphold the general stance on history of successive prime ministers, including the Murayama statement," he said, referring to the 1995 apology made by then-Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama on the 50th anniversary of the war's end.
He said the government would draft a new statement "that includes Japan's remorse for the war," though he stopped short of saying it would apologize.
The Japan Times has more on the move:
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday he will express remorse for Japan’s actions in World War II while highlighting the country’s bid to contribute more actively to world peace in his statement marking the 70th anniversary of the war’s end in August.
“I would like to write of Japan’s remorse over the war, its postwar history as a pacifist nation and how it will contribute to the Asia-Pacific region and the world,” Abe said in Ise, Mie Prefecture, during his first news conference of the year.
To mark the anniversary, the government is preparing to craft a new statement, a document that will be closely watched due to the implications it could to have on relations with China and South Korea.