SEOUL, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- Former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, known for his apology for past wartime atrocities while in office, said Tuesday that Japan should gain trust from Asian neighbors, stressing the need for Japan's fulfillment of its past apology.
Murayama, who came here for a three-day visit at the invitation of South Korea's minor opposition Justice Party, visited the parliamentary headquarters where an exhibition of artworks by former South Korean "comfort women" is being held.
At the exhibition, the former Japanese prime minister met three South Korean women who were coerced into sex slaves at the Japanese military brothel during the World War II, when more than 200,000 young women, many of them South Koreans, were forced into the sex slavery.
He became the first among incumbent and former Japanese prime ministers who meet with the victims of the sex slavery. Murayama made an official apology via the famous "Murayama Statement"in 1995, when he was in office, for Japan's past atrocities and war of aggression during its colonial rule of Asian nations.
After touring the exhibition, Murayama held a dinner meeting with the Justice Party lawmakers where he said the official apology was made because he believed it was necessary to gain trust from Asian countries for Japan to go in a right way in the future. "I was hailed much in Korea. I believe it was a warm-hearted assessment on the Murayama Statement,"he said."It also means rebuke for Japan's negligence of the Murayama Statement amid the strained ties between Japan and Korea."
Murayama said that it will not be an end to announce the statement, noting that it is important to crystallize the statement into action and make efforts to gain more trust. " Nobody can deny the Murayama Statement. It is the basis of Japan' s development," said Murayama. "All previous prime ministers of Japan said they succeeded the Murayama Statement. Many Asian nations, including Korea and China, are aware of this, so signs of improved relations (between Japan and Asian countries) were shown."
When Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe formed his first cabinet from 2006 to 2007, Abe said he succeeded the statement, Murayama said, noting that some noise has been heard since the second Abe cabinet was launched in late 2012.
Commentary: More honesty about history from Abe will serve Japanese pride better
BEIJING, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- On the solemn occasion of National Foundation Day, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on fellow citizens to "express deep respect" for the effort of their "forebears" and go forward as "a Japan that has pride."
It is unquestionably correct for a political leader to take a country's national day to "recall the founding of the nation and cultivate a mindset of love of the nation", but Abe's recent efforts to whitewash Japan's history of invasion lack sincerity and stain the sacred moment. Full story
Japan's historical illusion disdains int'l justice: editorial
BEIJING, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- The People's Daily, the flagship newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, on Tuesday ran an editorial entitled "The essence of creating historical illusion is to disdain international justice" as follows:
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been bombarded by the international community for his wrong words and actions, but he is still incorrigibly obstinate, talking absurdities and repeating his mistakes. Full story
Japan must accept post-war int'l order: China Daily
BEIJING, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) -- The international community should compel Japan to abide by the Cairo Declaration and Potsdam Declaration and jointly safeguard the post-war international order, an article carried in Tuesday's China Daily said.
The appeal was made as the Japanese government led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is challenging the post-war international order by breaching the international and domestic laws, according to the article signed by Liu Jiangyong, deputy director of the Institute of Modern International Relations, Tsinghua University. Full story
History reveals Abe's ploy
BEIJING, Feb. 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Japan's occupation of Diaoyu Islands violates all established laws and poses a challenge to post-war international order.
Accepting the post-war international order established by the Cairo Declaration and Potsdam Declaration and complying with its pacifist Constitution, Japan embarked on the road to peaceful development after surrendering to the Allied forces in 1945. Full story
China urges int'l alarm over Japanese comments
BEIJING, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- The international community needs to be alarmed by Japan's right-wing moves and resolutely safeguard historical justice, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Monday.
Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing that China noticed the remarks of a Japanese media official on the atomic bomb attacks on Japan and the United States' response. Full story
Lessons of history for Japan
BEIJING, Feb. 10 (Xinhuanet) -- History is a mirror, and people can distinguish contemporary politicians' sense of right and wrong and their actions through their understanding of history. And going by history, there seems little doubt that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his supporters worship Japan's imperial past, a past of naked fascism and brutal aggression. Full story
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China slams Japan's NHK governor's denial of Nanjing massacre
BEIJING, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- China on Wednesday slammed the remarks of an official of Japan's public broadcaster, NHK, who denied the Nanjing massacre.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that such behavior is "a barefaced challenge to the international justice and human conscience." Full story