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Japan WW2 resolution won't cite 'aggression
Updated: 2005-07-27 13:01

Japanese politicians want to tone down a resolution marking the 60th anniversary of the end of World War Two by deleting the words "acts of aggression" that appeared in a similar statement in 1995, Japanese media said.

Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (2nd L) follows a Shinto priest, dressed in a white and yellow robe, on a surprise visit to the controversial Yasukuni shrine that prompted angry reaction from China and South Korea.  [AFP]
Japan's ties with China and South Korea have already been frayed by a series of disputes, stemming mainly from what those countries see as Japan's failure to own up to its wartime past.

"We ... deeply regret the suffering that our country's actions in a certain period of the past caused on people from Asian and other countries, and again pay sincere tribute to all of the victims," the Mainichi Shimbun daily quoted a draft of the parliamentary resolution as saying.

The Mainichi said the draft omitted the words "acts of aggression" as well as "colonial rule" that were included in a parliamentary resolution adopted in 1995 when then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama -- a socialist -- was in power.

The new resolution could be adopted by the lower house as early as Friday, ahead of the 60th anniversary of Japan's World War Two surrender on August 15, the Mainichi said.

The wording in the draft contrasts with a speech Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made in April when he apologised for the suffering Japan's past militarism inflicted on Asia.

"In the past, Japan, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations," Koizumi said at an Asia-Africa conference in Jakarta.

Koizumi, in remarks that appeared aimed at soothing anti-Japanese outrage in China and South Korea, added that Japan always had in mind "feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology".

Japan's ties with China and South Korea have been frayed by Koizumi's visits to a shrine for war dead that they view as a symbol of Japan's wartime militarism and over Tokyo's adoption of a history textbook that critics say glosses over its past.

Koizumi last visited Tokyo's Yasukuni shrine in January 2004. He has said he would make an "appropriate decision" on future visits to the monument, which enshrines 14 "Class A" Japanese war criminals convicted by an Allied tribunal including wartime prime minister Hideki Tojo along with Japan's 2.5 million war dead.

Many in China still resent Japan's invasion and occupation of parts of the country from 1931 to 1945, and there is bitterness in South Korea over Japan's harsh colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945.

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