BEIJING – China urged Japan on Monday to take concrete actions toward resolving outstanding disputes over World War II following recent comments by Emperor Akihito related to the 70th anniversary of the war’s end this summer.
“We hope Japan can match its words with its actions, honestly facing up to its history of aggression and sticking to its solemn statements and commitments made on the issue of history,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing.
The comment followed a New Year’s address by the Emperor calling on Japan to “study and learn from the history of the war.”
Introspection about the causes and consequences of the conflict is necessary as the country considers its “future direction,” he said.
Echoing the comments, Hua said: “Japan should face the past honestly. Only by doing that can the future be forged.”
Bilateral disagreements over Japan’s actions in the war have increased in recent years as some on the Japanese right have sought to deny responsibility for the country’s war crimes.
As the 70th anniversary of the war’s end approaches, Beijing has increasingly sought to pressure Tokyo to show greater contrition for its role in the conflict.