Japan has celebrated the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II amid official criticism by China and South Korea, which insist that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did not appropriately apologize for Tokyo’s past war crimes.
The Saturday development came as three Japanese cabinet ministers visited the country’s Yasukuni Shrine, honoring wartime heroes, in a move likely to further damage ties since neighboring nations regard the monument as a symbol of Japan’s militarist past.
The memorial services marking the day Tokyo surrendered to Allied forces in 1945 came after Abe delivered an address on the occasion, expressing regret for Japan’s wartime actions, but added that its future generations needn’t have to apologize for the nation’s war record.
This is while China slammed Abe’s remarks as a non-apology. North Korea has also ridiculed it as “an unpardonable mockery of the Korean people.”
Meanwhile, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye further stated that Abe’s speech “left much to be desired,” emphasizing that Japan still needs to resolve the lingering issue of forcing Asian women to work as sex slaves in Japanese military brothels during the war.