Abe expresses ‘profound grief’ for WWII aggression
15 August 2015, Nirapad News: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed ‘profound grief’ for his country’s aggression during World War II, and vowed to ‘never again repeat the devastation of war’.
‘I bow my head deeply before the souls of all those who perished both at home and abroad. I express my feelings of profound grief and my eternal, sincere condolences,’ Abe said in an address on Friday, on the 70th anniversary of the end of the war and Japan’s surrender.
Abe also acknowledged that Japan ‘has brought lots of suffering to innocent people’ including to thousands of women sexually abused by the Japanese military across the Asia-Pacific region.
But he stopped short of calling them comfort women, as has been repeatedly demanded by countries like China and South Korea.
‘No matter what kind of efforts we may make, the sorrows of those who lost their family members and the painful memories of those who underwent immense sufferings by the destruction of war will never be healed.’
The words that Abe chose to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, carried symbolic importance and could set future relations with countries that suffered from its brutal march across Asia.
Unlike previous prime ministers, however, Abe did not offer his personal apologies for Japan’s previous war atrocities, Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett, reporting from Tokyo, said.
In his speech, Abe also made reference to the dropping of atomic bombs by the United States in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, vowing that Japan supports nuclear non-proliferation, and the ultimate abolition of nuclear weapons.
Abe had been criticized by some for playing down Japan’s wartime record and trying to expand the role of the military.