Japanese emperor's WWII statement indicates dissatisfaction toward Abe

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-8-16 13:02:44

Emperor of Japan Akihito on Saturday gave his own speech on WWII at an annual national memorial service, expressing his "deep remorse" over the past war.

"Reflecting on our past and bearing in mind the feelings of deep remorse over the last war, I earnestly hope that the ravages of war will never be repeated," the 81-year-old emperor said at the annual service at Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokoyo.

The soft-spoken emperor, whose father announced Japan's surrender 70 years ago, urged Japan not to forget the suffering of the war and to promote reconciliation with Asian countries.

The emperor has made similar remarks at various occasions, but it was the first time that he said such words at the annual memorial ceremony on Aug. 15.

This new addition of "deep remorse" in the annual statement is seen by analysts as a subtle rebuke of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Takashi Hara, an expert on the Japanese imperial family, said "since the start of the Abe administration, there has been a more noticeable political massage in the words and actions of the emperor and empress", adding that the imperial family is taking a quiet stand against the policies of Abe.

The statement of Akihito came a day after Abe made his own much-anticipated statement, which mentioned the previous governments' "apologies" but avoided a new apology from himself.

He also claimed that Japan's future generations must not "be predestined to apologize" for the country's actions in WWII.

Posted in: Asia-Pacific

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