Just after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered his statement on Aug. 14 to mark the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II, the Foreign Ministry deleted a "History Issues Q&A" section on its website, which was based on Prime Ministers Tomiichi Murayama and Junichiro Koizumi's statements on the 50th and 60th anniversary of the war's end, respectively, and then reinstated the section but with altered content on the evening of Sept. 18, just before the Abe administration steamrolled its controversial security legislation, which included the collective self-defense doctrine, through the Upper House.

A look at the new version of the Q&A makes it clear that the statement delivered by Abe, which played down his revisionist position on war-related historical issues, was intended to facilitate the passage of the security bills. By omitting references to Japan's colonial rule and aggression in the past, the statement hides Abe's true color — his reluctance to admit the fact that Japan committed any transgressions.

With regard to the question of "How does the government of Japan recognize the history concerning the previous war?" the version that was deleted from the website clearly referred to certain passages in the Murayama statement, such as "In the past, Japan, through colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly in Asia," and "I ... express ... my feelings of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apology. ..."