Shinzo Abe
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo AbeReuters

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued a statement on Friday on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, referring to past apologies made by the nation, and insisted that future generations should not be predestined to apologise.

The speech was watched closely the world over, especially in China and South Korea, whose media later criticised the statement.   

Japan colonised the two countries during the World War II until its defeat in 1945, a period that was marked by brutal oppression and aggression, and the neighbours have persistently demanded an official apology from Japan for it. 

Abe included the words "apology" and "aggression" in his statement on the WWII anniversary on Friday, Kyodo News reported, but it was only in reference to the statements by previous Japanese Prime Ministers such as Tomiichi Murayama and Junichiro Koizumi.  

Abe's statement, thus, did not go down very well in China and South Korea, whose media said that there was nothing new in his apology. 

'Abe mentions previous apology, adding it's unnecessary for future generations to keep apologizing', China's Xinhua News Agency said, while South Korea's Yonhap News said that Abe made no new apology for Japan's wartime past.


  • South Korea's Yonhap News has said that Abe mentioned the word 'apology' but excluded words such as 'colonial rule' and 'aggression'. 
  • Abe statement mentioned Japan's aggression during it colonial rule, Kyodo News reported. 
  • "Japan inflicted 'immeasurable damage and suffering' on innocent people in WWII," Abe said.
  • Abe's statement refers to the apology issued by past PMs over Japan's wartime acts. 
  • "We brought suffering to lots of innocent people. Japan did that. That's the history. History is something we can't change."
  • "Japan has repeatedly expressed feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology for its actions during the war."
  • Abe expresses 'profound grief' for those who died in World War II. 
  • Abe refers to 'comfort women' in his speech. "Many women suffered in the battlefield and their dignity was denied."
  • Here is a glimpse of Abe's statement on WWII anniversary, as tweeted by a Washington Post journalist.
  • "We have to learn lessons from the past," says Abe.
  • Abe has started delivering his statement, as per tweets by journalists in Tokyo.
  • Japanese PM Shinzo Abe is at the podium to read the statement on the WWII anniversary. 
  • The Japanese Cabinet has approved PM Shinzo Abe's WWI statement, local media have reported. 
  • Japanese PM Abe's final statement is being reviewed by the Cabinet, which started the process at 5 pm local time. 
Quick Links