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HONG KONG — The recent verbal gymnastics of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe show why, more than 60 years after the end of World War II, Japan’s wartime behavior remains a sensitive issue around the region and why the country’s apologies are regarded as insincere.

Ordinarily, one would have expected wartime wounds inflicted over half a century ago to have healed and the emergence of a new generation of Japanese who are able to hold their heads high, acknowledging that horrible things were done in their grandparents’ generation but that their country has done what it can to make amends.

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