Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Tuesday that the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stands by the 1995 statement on Japan’s wartime conduct, including the statement that refers to Tokyo’s “aggression,” apparently to allay concerns in China and South Korea.
During a session of the Upper House Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Kishida also indicated that Abe and his administration are in agreement about the statement of then-Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama.
“We, as a Cabinet, stand by” the so-called Murayama statement, Kishida told the committee.
During a session of the Upper House Budget Committee on May 15, Abe said his administration agrees with the statement “as a whole.”
The Murayama statement says Japan, “following a mistaken national policy, advanced along the road to war . . . and, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations.”
The statement goes on to say, “In the hope that no such mistake be made in the future, I regard, in a spirit of humility, these irrefutable facts of history, and express here once again my feelings of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apology.”
Japan’s ties with China and South Korea remain sour and Abe has been unable to meet with their leaders, partly because Beijing and Seoul believe the nation has failed to properly face and atone for its wartime conduct.