• Bloomberg, Reuters, Kyodo


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s historic speech to Congress celebrated the evolution of Japan’s ties with the United States , voiced “deep repentance” for his country’s role in World War II, declared that Tokyo had emergence as a global security player amid China’s rise and urged lawmakers to seal a Pacific trade deal.

Abe’s address to a joint meeting of Congress was the first by a Japanese head of state, and the spotlight fell on his choice of words regarding wartime history. Speculation had swirled that his comments would foreshadow a statement he will issue in August on the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender. Abe offered “eternal condolences” for American lives lost in World War II and underscored what he called his country’s aim to make a “proactive contribution to peace.”

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