World / Asia-Pacific

Abe sends message to ceremony honoring war criminals

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-08-27 19:25

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe sent a support message to a ceremony honoring Class-A and other war criminals, hailing them as "foundation of Japan," local media reported Wednesday.

The ceremony took place on April 29 at a temple in Wakayama Prefecture in western Japan. About 220 people prayed before a cenotaph on which the names of around 1,180 suspected and convicted World War II war criminals are inscribed.

They include 14 Class-A war criminals, who are also enshrined at the controversial Yasukuni Shrine, a symbol of Japan's past aggression.

According to Japan's Asahi Shimbun, Abe's message, sent as president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, was read by the ceremony's host in front of all participants.

The message said: "I express my grief at the death of martyrs... who sacrificed their lives to form the foundation of peace and prosperity in Japan today."

He also pledged to "work towards the future harmonious coexistence of human beings," and hoped for "eternal peace."

The organizers said Abe is the only prime minister who sent message to the ceremony while in office since the event began in 1994.

If the prime minister really wants to realize "eternal peace," he should avoid a repeat of Japan's past mistakes and crimes, instead honoring war criminals as heroes and fanning up the country's nationalist sentiment, some observers here noted.

Trudeau visits Sina Weibo
May gets little gasp as EU extends deadline for sufficient progress in Brexit talks
Ethiopian FM urges strengthened Ethiopia-China ties
Yemen's ex-president Saleh, relatives killed by Houthis
Most Popular
Hot Topics