Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday he will express remorse for Japan's actions in World War II while highlighting the country's bid to contribute more actively to world peace in his statement marking the 70th anniversary of the war's end in August.

"I would like to write of Japan's remorse over the war, its postwar history as a pacifist nation and how it will contribute to the Asia-Pacific region and the world," Abe said in Ise, Mie Prefecture, during his first news conference of the year.

To mark the anniversary, the government is preparing to craft a new statement, a document that will be closely watched due to the implications it could to have on relations with China and South Korea.