Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday he will seek Cabinet endorsement of his war-end anniversary statement on Aug. 14 ahead of its release that same day.
Abe told a meeting of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party’s executives that he will hold an extra Cabinet meeting next Friday afternoon to seek approval of the statement to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
It was previously thought Abe would issue the statement without Cabinet approval to highlight its personal nature.
An advisory panel submitted its report to the prime minister Thursday, describing Japan’s actions during the war in China as “aggression” and in South Korea as “colonial rule.”
The report said Japan “caused much harm to various countries, largely in Asia, through a reckless war,” but did not mention a need for a renewed apology.
At the LDP meeting, Abe reiterated that he wanted to make the statement a forward-looking one.
Abe is not expected to use the word “apology,” but a government source said he will say his Cabinet upholds the historical perception of past Japanese governments in its entirety.
A 1995 statement by then-Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama and a 2005 statement by then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi contained the phrase “heartfelt apology.”
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