Japanese ambassador to the Philippines Toshinao Urabe took time to apologize for Second World War atrocities that the Imperial Japanese Army did to the Filipino people. Urabe delivered the message on the day that the Southeast Asian country was commemorating its fallen heroes during WWII, apologizing and vowing “never to wage war again,” saying that Japan has realized that military force is not the solution to tensions.
“Seventy-two years have passed, but it still hurts to remember the hardship and pain suffered by so many during those fateful days,” Urabe said in his speech. “I wish to express our heartfelt apologies and deep sense of remorse for the inexplicable suffering,” he added. Instead, Urabe vowed that Japan will be proactive in promoting and contributing to efforts of peace and prosperity in the Philippines, especially in the troubled regions of Mindanao. He also said that he was very grateful for the “positive attitude” of Filipinos toward the Japanese people despite the history between the two countries. “The Filipinos have accepted to move on. We have been building the future together ever since. Thanks to the efforts of our predecessors, we are now strategic partners,” he said.
Urabe sat together with United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg, as both offered their respects to honor the departed war heroes of the country at the Mount Samat National Shrine in Pilar, Bataan – site of the famous “death march” in WWII. Japan, the third largest economy in the world, was among the largest donors towards victims of supertyphoon Haiyan that devastated the central part of the Philippines late last year. Japan had also recently voiced its support for the Philippines’ filing of arbitration against China in an effort to resolve the territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
[via The Philippine Star]
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