From daily The Morning Star in Britain:
Saturday 15th August 2015
PRIME MINISTER Shinzo Abe refused to apologise yesterday for Japanese crimes during the second world war, while acknowledging that they took place.
In a widely anticipated television statement marking the 70th anniversary of his country’s surrender, he said instead that Japan’s previously repeated “heartfelt apologies” would suffice.
“On the 70th anniversary of the end of the war, I bow my head deeply before the souls of all those who perished both at home and abroad,” Mr Abe said.
“I express my feelings of profound grief and my eternal, sincere condolences.”
But, he added, future generations of Japanese should not feel remorse over their country’s brutal history.
“We must not let our children, grandchildren and even further generations to come, who have nothing to do with that war, be predestined to apologise,” he said.
The prime minister made only a vague reference to the “comfort women” forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese military, saying: “We must never forget that there were women behind the battlefields whose honour and dignity were severely injured.”
Mr Abe’s comments were scrutinised in China and Korea, both of which bore the brunt of Japan’s brutal imperialism in the late 19th and early 20th century.
China’s official Xinhua News Agency said: “Abe trod a fine line with linguistic tricks, attempting to please his right-wing base on the one hand and avoid further damage in Japan’s ties with its neighbours on the other.”
Last Friday’s speech by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to mark 70 years since Japan’s surrender in World War II was a carefully contrived exercise. It sought to maintain a veneer of pacifism and contrition for the past crimes of Japanese militarism even as his government expands the country’s armed forces and ends constitutional constraints on Japanese participation in new US-led wars of aggression: here.
In November 1936 Japan signed the Anti-Comintern Pact with Germany and Italy as a careful prelude – by the signatories – to fascist aggression on a global scale, writes JENNY CLEGG: here.