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Japan’s Prime Minister Apologizes for Japan’s Wartime Activities

Japan’s Prime Minister Apologizes for Japan’s Wartime Activities

Posted April. 22, 2005 23:33,   


Japan’s Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi expressed “deep remorse and a heartfelt apology” for his country’s past aggression against its Asian neighbors and colonial rule in his keynote address at the Asia and Africa Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia, on April 22.

Prime Minister Koizumi quoted former Prime Minister, Tomiichi Murayama, who expressed “deep remorse and a heartfelt apology” back in 1995, to apologize for his country’s invasions of other Asian countries during the Second World War.

Prime Minister Koizumi said that in the past, Japan, through colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to many countries, especially to those of Asian countries, and that Koizumi promised that Japan would never turn into a military power. He promised that Japan would remain just an economic power while sticking to the principles of resolving all matters by peaceful measures.

It is the first time that a Japanese Prime Minister expressed remorse over Japan’s wartime activities since former Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu, who expressed Japan’s 채comprehensive regret over its aggression during the World War Ⅱ on a visit to Singapore in May 1991.

Prime Minister Koizumi noted that Japan will actively support the Official Development Assistance (ODA) program, aimed at strengthening cooperation with Asian and African countries, adding that Japan will also give more than $2.5 billion in aid over the next five years to help prevent fires, flood disasters, and other natural disasters within the Asian and African region.

Regarding its bid for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council, Koizumi repeatedly made it clear that the U.N., which reflects the reality of the times, needs reform.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Koizumi stated that he will have a summit meeting with Chinese President, Hu Jintao, on April 23.

Yong-Gwan Jung yongari@donga.com