Abe’s strategy has been to keep his opinions to himself about Japan’s actions in the 1930s and 1940s.

Conservative politicians have caused diplomatic problems with several Asian countries, particularly China and South Korea, by saying that Japan’s military actions in the 1930s and 1940s were not aggression, but self-defense. Some old-guard conservatives even try to publicly justify Japan’s invasion of China and the colonization of the Korean Peninsula.

Unable to view this article?

This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software.

Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites.

If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see out this support page.

We humbly apologize for the inconvenience.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.