• Kyodo News

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Prime Minister Naoto Kan may release a statement to mark the centennial of Japan’s annexation of the Korean Peninsula next month, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku suggested Friday.

“We haven’t reached any conclusion yet,” Sengoku said at a news conference. But he added that it may be necessary for Japan to issue a top-level statement on or around Aug. 29, the day the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty was proclaimed in 1910.

Seoul has been closely watching whether Kan will release some form of announcement on Japan’s interpretation of its Imperial past and the future of the two countries.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II on Aug. 15, 1995, then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama released a statement expressing remorse and an apology for Japan’s colonial rule and wartime aggression. Since then, successive governments have stood by the Murayama statement.

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