- The Washington Times - Monday, January 5, 2015

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that his government would show remorse over World War II in an August statement to mark the 70th anniversary of the conflict’s end.

“The Abe administration intends to gather expertise and write a new statement to show to the world, including our remorse over the last war, our path as a democratic nation of peace and how we will contribute even more in future to Asia and to the world,” Mr. Abe said at his first news conference of the year in Mie Prefecture, Bloomberg reported.

Similar statements of remorse were issued on the 50th and 60th anniversaries of Japan’s Aug. 15 surrender, but it had been unclear until now how Mr. Abe would respond, seeing that his grandfather served in the cabinet during the conflict and was later detained as a war criminal, Bloomberg reported.

Analysts have speculated that Mr. Abe, a nationalist, may downplay Japan’s responsibility for the war, the Associated Press reported. The prime minister said the government would draft a new statement “that includes Japan’s remorse for the war,” but stopped short of saying it would apologize.

China responded Monday to Mr. Abe’s comments: “We hope Japan will be consistent in its words and actions, have a correct understanding and attitude towards its history of aggression, and abide by its statements and promises regarding history,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, AP reported.

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