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Parties slam reported omission of ‘apology’ in Abe’s draft

 South Korean political parties on Sunday lambasted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday on reports that the draft of his speech marking the end of World War II this week would not include any words of apology.

The Asahi Shimbun reported that the draft of Abe’s statement does not include the word “apology” to Asian countries, which was included in two past landmark statements, according to the draft that he showed the executives of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and junior coalition partner, Komeito.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (Yonhap)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (Yonhap)

“Japan should bear in mind that it would end up losing its reputation if it keeps avoiding apologizing over the past acrimonious act,” Saenuri Party spokesman Kim Young-woo said.

“Prime Minister Abe should recognize that reflecting on its past history is the only way to show how mature Japan has become.”

The main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy echoed the concerns.

“It is regrettable that Japan has made no apology as we mark the 70th anniversary of Korea’s liberation from imperialist Japanese rule,” said NPAD spokeswoman Yoo Eun-hae.

“We believe that Japan is showing no commitment to taking Korea-Japan relations to the next level,” said Yoo.

According to the Asahi Simbun report, Abe reiterated that he will “inherit as a whole” the statements issued by former administrations, and the draft included the word “remorse” for the war, but the words “colonial rule and aggression” were not clearly explained to the satisfaction of the attendees.

South Korea has been keenly watching the development of Abe’s speech, with Cheong Wa Dae saying last week that the tone of the Aug. 15 Liberation Day speech by President Park Geun-hye on Japan would be determined after the release of Abe’s war-end anniversary statement on Friday.

By Yeo Jun-suk (jasonyeo@heraldcorp.com)

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