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‘We Japanese, across generations, must squarely face the history of the past,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in his speech last month marking the 70-year anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II. “We have the responsibility to inherit the past, in all humbleness, and pass it on to the future.”

This sounds similar to how politicians from Germany, the other main aggressor of WWII, recently commemorated the liberation of concentration camps. The main difference was the conclusion from German President Joachim Gauck: “There is no German identity without Auschwitz.”

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