WASHINGTON – A senior U.S. diplomat handling Asian issues says he hopes Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will express remorse in a statement next month to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said Tuesday he expected Abe to give voice to “the feelings of remorse” demonstrated by the Japanese government and people.
Speaking to reporters after an event in Washington, Russel also indicated Abe should mention Japan’s contributions to the international community in the postwar era in various fields, including peace building.
Abe will put the final touches to the statement ahead of Aug. 15, when Japan surrendered to the Allied forces in 1945, following input from a panel of experts.
The United States and Japan’s Asian neighbors that suffered under wartime Japanese militarism are closely watching whether Abe, seen by critics as a historical revisionist, will follow his predecessors Tomiichi Murayama and Junichiro Koizumi, who expressed an “apology” and “remorse” for Japan’s wartime aggressions on the 50th and 60th anniversaries of the end of the war.
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