“Since the start of the Abe administration, there has been a more noticeable political message in the words and actions of the emperor and empress”, said Takashi Hara, an expert on the imperial family at Meiji Gakuin University.
Pyongyang criticised Abe for “running the whole gamut of gimmick to bury the unprecedented hair-raising crimes into the oblivion of history”.
“Seventy years have passed since the end of the war, and our country today enjoys peace and prosperity, thanks to the ceaseless efforts made by the people of Japan toward recovery from the devastation of the war and toward development, always backed by their earnest desire for the continuation of peace”, he continued during in Tokyo. The resulting sense of crisis appears to have played a role. During a speech on March 1, 2013, Park said, “The historical perspective of aggressor and victim can not be changed, even though a thousand years pass by”.
Instead of offering an unambiguous apology, however, Mr Abe used these deliberately vague turns of phrase to avoid directly confronting contentious issues, such as the comfort women system or the whitewashing of atrocities.
He expressed “deep remorse and heartfelt apology”.
The statement got a cool reaction from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is South Korean.
A Philippine group representing dozens of former sex slaves denounced Abe’s pronouncement that future Japanese generations should not be compelled to apologise for past aggression.
“There is a need for South Korea and Japan to move aggressively toward a summit”, the legislator said in a radio broadcast on August. 17.
In his World War II anniversary speech last week, the Japanese prime minister evaded giving his own apology for the nation’s militaristic past, including the brutal colonization of Korea from 1910-45.
Sheila Smith, senior fellow for Japan studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, told a seminar at the Heritage Foundation think tank in Washington that the statement had bucked earlier expectations and demonstrated Abe’s diplomatic intent to improve relations with Japan’s neighbors.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has been heavily criticized by for his was speech on the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, could not personally visit the shrine to pay his respects.
In crafting the first official Japanese statement on the war in a decade, Abe sought to mend frayed ties with China and South Korea, which have accused him of trying to whitewash history and revive Japanese militarism.
It was a lively scene for one of Tokyo’s most somber sites, if not for the elderly widows dressed in all black. Korea needs to be less emotional and more rational in dealing with Japan, turning bilateral national rivalry into a battle of conscientious people against unconscientious people, not just in the two countries but in the rest of the world.
So when a Japanese prime minister stands to speak of the Pacific War, he speaks in a type of code that includes certain words he knows will please his domestic audience and knowingly leaves out many others whose omission offend and inflame his Asian listeners.