BERLIN, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- All nations must honestly live up to their role in the cruel war events of the 20th century, and only on the basis of an honest accounting is it possible to build a future, a German foreign ministry spokesman said on Monday.
"This is a conviction that Germany takes to heart and applies to all countries in my opinion," Steffen Seibert told a press conference.
His remarks came as a response to a question on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to a controversial war-linked shrine last week.
Abe's visit on Thursday to the Yasukuni shrine, where Japanese Class-A war criminals of World War II are honored, sparks world condemnation.
While Japanese right-wing politicians are provoking neighboring countries and jeopardizing regional peace by paying tribute to war criminals, Germany, Japan's WWII ally, has been sincerely reflecting on its war crimes.
Many German chancellors, foreign ministers and army officers have paid their tribute to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum during their visits to Israel.
In many memorial places where German Nazis built concentration camps and committed crimes during the war, German leaders have consistently shown their regret over the past and apologized to the war victims.