Japan has failed to atone sufficiently for its actions in World War II, former Foreign Minister Yohei Kono, who wrote Japan's official apology for the use of wartime "comfort women, said recently.

"They are insufficient," Kono, 77, said in an interview in his Tokyo office when asked about the apologies expressed to date by Japanese officials. "This is because the people who suffered and have extremely painful memories aren't saying they are sufficient."

The remarks by Kono, a former senior member of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, echo calls by China and South Korea for a clearer expression of responsibility for the deaths of millions in Asia in the 1930s and 1940s.