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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is dogged by history problems largely because he courts controversy with his revisionist views and efforts to rehabilitate Japan’s wartime past. It’s not only moderates and leftists who worry about this: Liberal Democratic Party Vice-President Masahiko Komura has also urged Abe to uphold past apologies for World War II.

So far this year, the 70th anniversary of Japan’s defeat in the war, Abe has been a big disappointment, equivocating on history and demonstrating little capacity for contrition. He faces expectations that he will do so in his forthcoming Abe statement, but this would require him to compromise the exonerating and valorizing views central to his Weltanschauung.

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