World / Opinions

Japan should take realistic view of history

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-04-11 17:28

TOKYO - Hitoshi Tanaka, former Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, said Friday that Japan should take a realistic view of history, for instance following the "Murayama Statement" which apologized for the nation's wartime atrocities.

Talking about the landmark 1995 apology, Tanaka said "it was not just a 'Murayama statement', it is a statement need to be endorsed by the government since Prime Minister Murayama's government, not just Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), but the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) as well."

The statement was released by then Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama on August 15, 1995. In the statement, he apologized for the damage and suffering caused by Japan to its Asian neighbors.

Though all prime ministers have adopted the statement since the official apology was issued, the incumbent Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has questioned some of the terminology in the apology, much to the consternation of the international community.

Regarding this, Tanaka said "It's not just the question of interpretation of history on the bottom of one prime minister, it is a very clear policy announcement on the bottom of Japan."

The now chairman of the Institute for International Strategy of Japan added that he did not see any sufficient reasons for the "Murayama Statement" to be changed.

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