Newly elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his cabinet will follow the statement issued in 1995 by then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama regarding Japan’s actions towards its Asian neighbours during World War II. New Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that the current government will follow the lead of the previous governments and adhere to the Murayama Statement.
Given on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Japan’s surrender during World War II, it was basically an apology for Japan’s wartime aggression. The statement issued on August 15, 1995 acknowledges that Japan caused “tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations” during its colonial rule of specific countries. Murayama also expressed the country’s “deep remorse” and “heartfelt apology” to the victims.
However, the new administration has seen fit to review the controversial Kono statement of 1993 which was issued by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yōhei Kōno. It was an acknowledgement and an apology for Japan’s involvement in the forced sexual servitude of women in South Korea, known as comfort women, during the war and an apology as well. Suga said that it is “desirable for experts and historians to study” the facts that resulted in the statement. Many conservatives and nationalists have objected to the Kono statement, contesting that there was no hard evidence that the Japanese military were involved in such heinous crimes. Suga said that this “should not be made into a political or diplomatic issue.”
[ via Jiji Press ]