TOKYO, May 25 (Xinhua) -- Former Japanese Prime Minster Tomiichi Murayama, known for his apology for Japan's past wartime atrocities while in office, said Sunday that the "Murayama Statement" was a formal decision made by Japan's Cabinet which should not be denied ever.
The former prime minister stressed in a special speech in Tokyo that the "Murayama Statement", released nearly 20 years ago, has become a hot issue recently due to incumbent Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's aim to deny it. "While in the name of reexamining it, Abe's true thought is to unveil a new statement by himself." Murayama said. "Different from 'Koizumi Statement'to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the World War II, 'Murayama Statement' was based on a Cabinet decision, meaning it represented the official position of the Japanese government," said Murayama, who served as Japan's prime minister from 1994 to 1996. "All previous prime ministers of Japan said that they inherit the'Murayama Statement', it has become an international pledge and Japan's national policy."
On Abe's push for collective self-defense right, Murayama showed strong disagreement on the current government's attempt to reinterpret the pacifist Constitution. "Japan's Cabinet Legislation Bureau always insists on banning the collective self defense right. While Abe's government tries to allow its exercise by reinterpreting the Constitution, which is unworkable, or the Constitution will lose its meaning." "According to the Constitution, no matter prime minister or lawmakers have the obligation to respect it. It's terrible that even prime minister dare say some nonsense words to the Constitution." Murayama said.
The 91-year-old politician believed that the pacifist Constitution is a treasure for Japan, which should be passed on to future generations.
On August 15, 1995, the "Murayama Statement"was released by then Prime Minister Murayama. He apologized for the damage and suffering caused by Japan to its Asian neighbors.
In the statement, Japan committed the need to deeply reflect on its history, learn from history and avoid making the same mistakes.