Japan says it will abide by apologies over actions in World War II

tags: World War II, NYT, war crimes, atrocities, Japan



TOKYO — Japan’s conservative government will abide by official apologies that the country’s leaders made two decades ago to the victims of World War II in Asia, top officials said Tuesday, backing away from earlier suggestions that the government might try to revise or even repudiate the apologies.

Japan formally apologized in 1993 to the women who were forced into wartime brothels for Japanese soldiers, and in 1995 to nations that suffered from Japanese aggression during the war. Both apologies rankled Japanese ultranationalists, and there were concerns that the hawkish current prime minister, Shinzo Abe, would try to appeal to them by whitewashing Japan’s wartime atrocities, a step that would probably infuriate Japan’s neighbors.

The United States shared those concerns, and it urged the Abe government to show restraint on historical issues so that Japan would not further isolate itself diplomatically in the region....



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