Japan's New Emperor Speaks Of 'deep Remorse' In 1st Speech Marking WWII
Sumaira FH 4 months ago Thu 15th August 2019 | 01:34 PM
Japan's new emperor spoke Thursday of "deep remorse" over the country's wartime past in his first speech to commemorate the end of World War II since his enthronement in May
Tokyo, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 15th Aug, 2019 ) :Japan's new emperor spoke Thursday of "deep remorse" over the country's wartime past in his first speech to commemorate the end of World War II since his enthronement in May.
"Looking back on the long peaceful years after the war, reflecting on our past, and bearing in mind the feeling of deep remorse, I earnestly hope that the devastation of war will never be repeated," said the 59-year-old Naruhito.
"During the 74 years since the end of the war, the peace and prosperity of our country today has been built through the tireless efforts of the people.
Meanwhile, conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shied away from visiting a controversial shrine that commemorates war dead, including convicted war criminals, that has become a flashpoint with Japan's neighbours, especially China and South Korea.
During a speech to mark the anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japan's 1910-45 rule, President Moon Jae-in, however, struck a conciliatory tone towards Japan, offering to "join hands" if Tokyo chooses dialogue.
But the foreign ministry in Seoul voiced "deep concern" at the offerings to Yasukuni, which it said "glorifies Japan's past colonial plunder and war of invasion and enshrines war criminals." "The government urges Japan's political leaders to show humble reflection over historical issues," said the ministry.
- 'Devastation of war' - Meanwhile, Abe sent an aide and a cash offering to Yasukuni Shrine but continued his policy, that has been in place for several years, of not visiting.
The nationalist premier last visited the shrine in December 2013 to mark his first year in power, sparking fury in Beijing and Seoul and earning a rare diplomatic rebuke from close ally the United States.
He has since stayed away as the leaders of both China and Japan attempt to maintain their improving but delicate relations, with Chinese President Xi Jinping expected to visit Japan next year during spring cherry blossom season.
It also enshrines senior military and political figures convicted of war crimes by an international tribunal after World War II.
Abe also stuck closely to the script in his speech, offering "heartfelt respect and gratitude" to Japan's war dead and vowing to "never again repeat the devastation of war." "This pledge has never changed and will never change" in the new era under Emperor Naruhito, Abe vowed.
His father Akihito was born in 1933 just as Japan was embarking on its militaristic sweep across Asia, and listened in tears as an 11-year-old when war-time Emperor Hirohito announced Japan's surrender.