Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida urged China to consider a summit between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Xi Jinping in light of the strained relations between the two countries.
Referring to the apologies issued by previous Cabinet members in the 1990s, Kishida said that Abe’s Cabinet members “inherited” the position and view of their predecessors pertaining to Japanese aggression and imperialistic action during the Second World War. He further said that, “they have never denied the Kono statement, the Murayama statement, or the various statements issued by Cabinets.” Chief Cabninet Secretary Yohei Kono, in a statement issued in 1993 recognized their military’s responsibility for the use of “comfort women,” or women forced into sexual slavery, and apologized to the victims. Then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama issued a statement in 1995 apologizing for wartime aggression in Asia. These two landmark statements are held as a symbol of Japanese repentance and regret by their neighboring countries, which were victims of the said crimes.
Kishida hopes that a “high-level political dialogue” will happen soon, as no summit has been held between China and Japan since the beginning of Abe’s administration in December of 2012. Already strained with Japan’s seemingly unapologetic gesture and views of their history pertaining to sexual slavery and wartime aggression, Abe’s visit to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine less than a month ago seemed to add more salt to the injury, as both China and South Korea deem the shrine a symbol of Japanese militarism.
[via Kyodo News]
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