Japan apologizes on WWII anniversary

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Striking a conciliatory note on the 60th anniversary of Japan's defeat in World War II, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi reiterated an apology Monday for "the huge damage and suffering" caused by his nation's past military aggression and pledged it would never happen again.

But other events here and abroad underscored the extraordinary divisiveness that lingers over Japanese hostilities six decades after the end of World War II. In contrast with the cordial relationships Germany now enjoys in Europe, several of Japan's former wartime targets in Asia are still charging Tokyo with failing to atone fully for its actions.

On Sunday and today -- the date when the late Emperor Hirohito took to the national airwaves in 1945 to ask the citizenry to "endure the unendurable" by accepting defeat -- clusters of anti-Japanese protesters turned out in Hong Kong, Seoul, Manila and Taipei. Chinese authorities in Beijing and Shanghai increased security in front of Japanese diplomatic missions in what appeared to be an attempt to prevent a fresh wave of anti-Japanese violence similar to the one that erupted in April.

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