The Foreign Ministry has deleted a page from its website that explained the government’s position on historical issues stemming from World War II following Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s new war anniversary statement last Friday.
Titled History Issues Q&A, the page featured eight questions on the views of the Japanese government, with the answers based on the war statements issued by Prime Ministers Tomiichi Murayama in 1995 and Junichiro Koizumi in 2005.
A Foreign Ministry official said Tuesday the ministry deleted the page on Aug. 14 when Abe issued his statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of the war.
“The content of the page needs to be revised to reflect the new statement,” the official said.
The ministry plans to post the new page within the next couple of days, the official said, adding that it will have an English translation.
The questions and answers on the old History Issues Q&A page included “historical perceptions” on the war, “comfort women” issues, the Nanking Massacre and the International Military Tribunal for the Far East.
Regarding historical perceptions on World War II, the page said Japan caused “tremendous damage and suffering” to the people of many countries, particularly those of Asian nations, “through its colonial rule and aggression.”
It noted that Japan keeps “deep remorse and heartfelt apology” in its heart, sincerely facing these historical facts.
These terms were used in both Murayama and Koizumi’s statements, which were issued to mark the 50th and 60th anniversaries of the war’s end.
In his statement Friday, Abe mentioned “deep remorse” over Japan’s wartime misdeeds.
“Japan has repeatedly expressed the feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology for its actions during the war. . . . Such position articulated by the previous Cabinets will remain unshakable into the future,” he said in the official English translation of the statement, which was approved by the Cabinet earlier that day.
“We must never again repeat the devastation of war. Incident, aggression, war — we shall never again resort to any form of the threat or use of force as a means of settling international disputes,” the statement says. “We shall abandon colonial rule forever and respect the right of self-determination of all peoples throughout the world.”
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