Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday issued his statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.
However, many Chinese are underwhelmed and call for real action rather than just allusions of regret.
In the statement, Abe mentioned that previous cabinets had apologized for Japan’s wartime past, but side-stepped offering his own.
He said Japan must not allow its future generations to “be predestined to apologize.”
Zhu Chengshan is the curator of the Chinese memorial hall of the victims of the Nanjing Massacre.
He believes that Abe’s statement lacks Abe’s own introspection of aggression, and was made only under pressure from both home and abroad.
SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): ZHU CHENGSHAN, Chinese memorial hall of the victims of the Nanjing Massacre
“My stance is very clear. If Abe wants to apologize sincerely like what he claimed, he should come to Nanjing, visit our memorial hall and apologize to the killed and survivors during the Nanjing Massacre.”
Ruan Zongze, vice president of China Institute of International Studies, also says Abe shied away from assuming responsibility for Japan’s launching a war of aggression upon other countries.
SOUNDBITE (CHINESE): RUAN ZONGZE, vice president, China Institute of International Studies
“Abe said the postwar generations now exceed 80 percent of Japan’s population, so they don’t need to apologize. Abe himself was born after the 1950s, belonging to the postwar generation. So what Abe tried to say is he had no real intention to apologize and he had to offer some vague apologetic statement under pressure.”
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying has said Japan should have given a clear account of the nature of the aggression war launched by Japanese militarists and its responsibility, offered sincere apologies to people of countries that suffered in the war.
She says only through adopting correct view and proper attitude toward the history will the foundations for improved relations between Japan and other Asian countries be strong.