In his memorial speech Thursday for Japan's 3.1 million war dead on the occasion of the 68th anniversary of Japan's surrender to the Allied Powers in World War II, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe failed to express remorse over the suffering that Japan's past military aggression inflicted on many peoples, especially those in Asian countries. He also failed to pledge to never again wage war.

This omission, which contravenes a tradition begun with Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama's end-of-the-war speech in 1994 and continued by Mr. Abe himself during his first stint as prime minister in 2007, is deplorable. It is an affront to the Constitution's no-war principle based on the resolve "that never again shall we be visited with the horrors of war through the action of government." It also represents hubris on the part of Mr. Abe as a leader of a nation that suffered a crushing defeat after causing tremendous damage and pain not only to peoples of other countries but to its own citizens as well.

Mr. Abe's revisionist views of Japan's modern history will only deepen the international community's suspicions about Japan's future direction. If his aggressive defense policy goals are implemented, they could lead to Japan's diplomatic isolation.