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Home » Archives » April 2005 » Shortlist of War Apologies by Japan

Shortlist of War Apologies by Japan

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 Posted: 10:31 PM JST

A list with some of Japan's apologies for wartime atrocities. This covers the 1970s through the present.

1970s

09/29/1972 Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka. "The Japanese side is keenly conscious of the responsibility for the serious damage that Japan caused in the past to the Chinese people through war, and deeply reproaches itself. Further, the Japanese side reaffirms its position that it intends to realize the normalization of relations between the two countries from the stand of fully understanding 'the three principles for the restoration of relations' put forward by the Government of the People's Republic of China. The Chinese side expresses its welcome for this" (Joint Communique of the Government of Japan and the Government of the People's Republic of China. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/china/joint72.html ).

1980s

08/24/1982 Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki. "I am painfully aware of Japan's responsibility for inflicting serious damages (on Asian nations) during the past war." "We need to recognize that there are criticisms that condemn [Japan's occupation] as invasion" (Press Conference on Textbook issue. qtd. in Tahara, Soichiro (田原総一朗). Nihon no Senso (日本の戦争). Shogakkan, 2000: Tokyo, Japan. p. 161.)

08/26/1982 Chief Cabinet Secretary Kiichi Miyazawa. "1. The Japanese Government and the Japanese people are deeply aware of the fact that acts by our country in the past caused tremendous suffering and damage to the peoples of Asian countries, including the Republic of Korea (ROK) and China, and have followed the path of a pacifist state with remorse and determination that such acts must never be repeated. Japan has recognized, in the Japan-ROK Joint Communique, of 1965, that the 'past relations are regrettable, and Japan feels deep remorse,' and in the Japan-China Joint Communique, that Japan is 'keenly conscious of the responsibility for the serious damage that Japan caused in the past to the Chinese people through war and deeply reproaches itself.' These statements confirm Japan's remorse and determination which I stated above and this recognition has not changed at all to this day. 2. This spirit in the Japan-ROK Joint Communique, and the Japan-China Joint Communique, naturally should also be respected in Japan's school education and textbook authorization. Recently, however, the Republic of Korea, China, and others have been criticizing some descriptions in Japanese textbooks. From the perspective of building friendship and goodwill with neighboring countries, Japan will pay due attention to these criticisms and make corrections at the Government's responsibility. 3. To this end, in relation to future authorization of textbooks, the Government will revise the Guideline for Textbook Authorization after discussions in the Textbook Authorization and Research Council and give due consideration to the effect mentioned above. Regarding textbooks that have already been authorized, Government will take steps quickly to the same effect. As measures until then, the Minister of Education, Sports, Science and Culture will express his views and make sure that the idea mentioned in 2. Above is duly reflected in the places of education. 4. Japan intends to continue to make efforts to promote mutual understanding and develop friendly and cooperative relations with neighboring countries and to contribute to the peace and stability of Asia and, in turn, of the world" (Statement on History Textbooks. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/postwar/state8208.html ).

09/06/1984 Showa Emperor. "It is indeed regrettable that there was an unfortunate past between us for a period in this century and I believe that it should not be repeated again" (Meeting with President Chun Doo Hwan. TIME, September 17, 1984).

09/7/1984 Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone. "There was a period in this century when Japan brought to bear great sufferings upon your country and its people. I would like to state here that the government and people of Japan feel a deep regret for this error" (The Economist, September 15, 1984).

1990s

04/18/1990 Minister of Foreign Affairs Taro Nakayama. "Japan is deeply sorry for the tragedy in which these (Korean) people were moved to Sakhalin not of their own free will but by the design of the Japanese government and had to remain there after the conclusion of the war" (188th National Diet Session Lower House Committee of Foreign Affairs. qtd. in Kenichi Takagi, Rethinking Japan's Postwar Compensation: Voices of Victims. tr. by Makiko Nakano. Retrieved from http://home.att.ne.jp/sun/RUR55/E/epage16.htm ).

05/24/1990 Emperor Heisei. "Reflecting upon the suffering that your people underwent during this unfortunate period, which was brought about by our nation, I cannot but feel the deepest remorse" (Meeting with President Roh Tae Woo. 宮中晩餐会での今上天皇の盧泰愚大統領歓迎の勅語. Nakano Bunko, Retrieved from http://www.geocities.jp/nakanolib/choku/ch02.htm ).

05/25/1990 Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu. "I would like to take the opportunity here to humbly reflect upon how the people of the Korean Peninsula went through unbearable pain and sorrow as a result of our country's actions during a certain period in the past and to express that we are sorry" (Summit meeting with President Roh Tae Woo in Japan. 大韓民国大統領盧泰愚閣下ご夫妻歓迎晩餐会での海部内閣総理大臣の挨拶. 海部演説集 pp. 326-328. qtd in The World and Japan Database Project website, Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo, Retrieved from http://www.ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~worldjpn/documents/texts/JPKR/19900525.S1J.html ).

01/16/1992 Kiichi Miyazawa. "We the Japanese people, first and foremost, have to bear in our mind the fact that your people experienced unbearable suffering and sorrow during a certain period in the past because of our nation's act, and never forget the feeling of remorse. I, as a prime minister, would like to once again express a heartful remorse and apology to the people of your nation" (Speech at dinner with President Roh Tae Woo. 大韓民国大統領盧泰愚閣下ご夫妻主催晩餐会での宮澤内閣総理大臣のスピーチ. 宮澤演説集 pp. 89-91. qtd in The World and Japan Database Project website, Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo, Retrieved from http://www.ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~worldjpn/documents/texts/JPKR/19920116.S1J.html ).

01/17/1992 Kiichi Miyazawa. "What we should not forget about relationship between our nation and your nation is a fact that there was a certain period in the thousands of years of our company when we were the victimizer and you were the victim. I would like to once again express a heartful remorse and apology for the unbearable suffering and sorrow that you experienced during this period because of our nation's act." Recently the issue of the so-called 'wartime comfort women' is being brought up. I think that incidents like this are seriously heartbreaking, and I am truly sorry" (Policy speech at the occasion of the visit to the Republic of Korea. 宮澤喜一内閣総理大臣の大韓民国訪問における政策演説(アジアのなか、世界のなかの日韓関係). 外交青書36号,383-388. qtd in The World and Japan Database Project website, Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo, Retrieved from http://www.ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~worldjpn/documents/texts/exdpm/19920117.S1J.html ).

07/6/1992 Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Kato. "The Government again would like to express its sincere apology and remorse to all those who have suffered indescribable hardship as so-called 'wartime comfort women,' irrespective of their nationality or place of birth. With profound remorse and determination that such a mistake must never be repeated, Japan will maintain its stance as a pacifist nation and will endeavor to build up new future-oriented relations with the Republic of Korea and with other countries and regions in Asia. As I listen to many people, I feel truly grieved for this issue. By listening to the opinions of people from various directions, I would like to consider sincerely in what way we can express our feelings to those who suffered such hardship" (Statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Koichi Kato on the Issue of the so-called "Wartime Comfort Women" from the Korean Peninsula. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/postwar/state9207.html ).

08/04/1993 Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono. "Undeniably, this was an act, with the involvement of the military authorities of the day, that severely injured the honor and dignity of many women. The Government of Japan would like to take this opportunity once again to extend its sincere apologies and remorse to all those, irrespective of place of origin, who suffered immeasurable pain and incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women" (Statement by the Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono on the result of the study on the issue of "comfort women." Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/women/fund/state9308.html ).

08/11/1993 Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa. "I myself believe it was a war of aggression, a war that was wrong" (First Press Conference after inauguration. qtd. in Margot S. Strom, Facing History and Ourselves: Holocaust and Human Behavior. p. 488).

08/23/1993 Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa. "After 48 years from then, our nation has become one of nations that enjoy prosperity and peace. We must not forget that it is founded on the ultimate sacrifices in the last war, and a product of the achievements of the people of the previous generations. We would like to take this opportunity to clearly express our remorse for the past and a new determination to the world. Firstly at this occasion, we would like to express our deep remose and appology for the fact that invasion and colonial rule by our nation in the past brought to bear great sufferings and sorrow upon many people" (Speech at 127th National Diet Session. 第127回国会(特別会)細川護熙内閣総理大臣 所信表明演説. The World and Japan Database Project website, Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo. Retrieved from http://www.ioc.u-tokyo.ac.jp/~worldjpn/documents/texts/pm/19930823.SWJ.html ).

09/24/1993 Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa. "I used the expression war of aggression and act of aggression to express honestly my recognition which is the same as the one that the act of our nation in the past brought to bear unbearable sufferings and sorrow upon many people, and to express once again deep remorse and apology" (128th National Diet Session. 第128回国会. 国会会議録検索システム National Diet Conference Minutes Search system, Retrieved from http://kokkai.ndl.go.jp ).

08/31/1994 Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama. "Japan's actions in a certain period of the past not only claimed numerous victims here in Japan but also left the peoples of neighboring Asia and elsewhere with scars that are painful even today. I am thus taking this opportunity to state my belief, based on my profound remorse for these acts of aggression, colonial rule, and the like caused such unbearable suffering and sorrow for so many people, that Japan's future path should be one of making every effort to build world peace in line with my no-war commitment. It is imperative for us Japanese to look squarely to our history with the peoples of neighboring Asia and elsewhere. Only with solid basis of mutual understanding and confidence that can be build through overcoming the pain on both sides, can we and the peoples of neighboring countries together clear up the future of Asia-Pacific.... On the issue of wartime 'comfort women,' which seriously stained the honor and dignity of many women, I would like to take this opportunity once again to express my profound and sincere remorse and apologies. With regard to this issue as well, I believe that one way of demonstrating such feelings of apologies and remorse is to work to further promote mutual understanding with the countries and areas concerned as well as to face squarely to the past and ensure that it is rightly conveyed to future generations. This initiative, in this sense, has been drawn up consistent with such belief" (Statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama on the "Peace, Friendship, and Exchange Initiative" Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/press/pm/murayama/state9408.html ).

07/na/1995 Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama. "The problem of the so-called wartime comfort women is one such scar, which, with the involvement of the Japanese military forces of the time, seriously stained the honor and dignity of many women. This is entirely inexcusable. I offer my profound apology to all those who, as wartime comfort women, suffered emotional and physical wounds that can never be closed" (Statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama on the occasion of the establishment of the "Asian Women's Fund." Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/women/fund/state9507.html ).

08/15/1995 Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama. "During a certain period in the not-too-distant past, Japan, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly those of Asia. In the hope that no such mistake will be made in the future, I regard, in a spirit of humanity, these irrefutable facts of history, and express here once again my feelings of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apology" (Statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama 'On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the war's end.' Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/press/pm/murayama/9508.html ).

06/23/1996 Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto. Hashimoto mentioned the aspects of Japan's colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula such as the forced Japanization of Korean people's name and commented "It is beyond imagination how this injured the hearts of Korean people" Hashimoto also touched on the issue of Korean comfort women and said "Nothing injured the honor and dignity of women more than this and I would like to extend words of deep remorse and the heartfelt apology" (Joint press conference at summit meeting with President Kim Young Sam in South Korea. 日韓共同記者会見(橋本総理大臣・金泳三大統領共同記者会見). Official website of Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet, Retrieved from http://www.kantei.go.jp/jp/hasimotosouri/speech/1996/kisya-0625.html ).

10/08/1996 Emperor Heisei. "There was a period when our nation brought to bear great sufferings upon the people of the Korean Peninsula." "The deep sorrow that I feel over this will never be forgotten" (Speech at dinner with President Kim Dae Jung of the Republic of Korea. 宮中晩餐会での今上天皇の金大中大統領歓迎の勅語. Nakano Bunko, Retrieved from http://www.geocities.jp/nakanolib/choku/ch10.htm ).

08/28/1997 Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto. "I believe that Japan has learned its lessons from history and that the people of Japan widely share the view that we must learn from the past for the future, without forgetting what is behind us. The year before last, former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama issued these words: '... through its colonial rule and aggression, [Japan] caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. ... I regard, in a spirit of humility, these irrefutable facts of history, and express here once again my feelings of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apology.' I am of the same mind as the former Prime Minister. Even though there are some elements in Japan that are quite capable of arousing Chinese sentiment with their rhetoric, Japan will not become a military power in the future. Our determination to continue treading the path of a peaceful nation is self-evident to us, the Japanese people. Still, however clear this may be to us, we must continue our persistent efforts so that China and the other nations of Asia have no reason to doubt us" (Speech by Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, Seeking a New Foreign Policy Toward China. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/china/seeking.html ).

09/06/1997. Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto. "In 1995, on the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, the Government of Japan expressed its resolution through the statement by the Prime Minister, which states that during a certain period in the past, Japan's conduct caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, including China, and the Prime Minister expressed his feeling of deep remorse and stated his heartfelt apology, while giving his word to make efforts for peace. I myself was one of the ministers who was involved in drafting this statement. I would like to repeat that this is the official position of the Government of Japan. During the summit meeting that I had during my visit to China, I have made this point very clear in a frank manner to the Chinese side. Premier Li Peng said that he concurs completely with my remarks" (Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Conference on: Visit of Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto to the People's Republic of China. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/china/conference.html ).

01/13/1998 Press Secretary. "Statement by Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto on World War II prisoners of war. Q: At the meeting last night with Prime Minister Blair, did Prime Minister Hashimoto really apologize for the prisoners of war. Spokesman Hashimoto: The important thing is that the Prime Minister of Japan expressed the feelings of deep remorse and stated heartfelt apologies to the people who suffered in World War II directly to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. This was the second meeting between Prime Minister Hashimoto and Prime Minister Blair and we considered the meeting very important, especially this year. Making use of this opportunity, Prime Minister Hashimoto expressed his remorse and apology on behalf of the Government of Japan; this is very important. Prime Minister Blair fully understands the importance of the statement made by Prime Minister Hashimoto on this issue. His press opportunities after the talks objectively reflect what the two gentlemen talked about" (Press Conference by the Press Secretary. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/press/1998/1/113.html ).

01/16/1998 Press Secretary. "Apology to prisoners of war. Q: This week, Prime Minister Hashimoto apologized to British prisoners of war for actions taken during World War II. Does the Japanese Government have any plans to extend that apology to Australian prisoners of war, and if not, why not? Spokesman Tanaka: Our sense of apology and our sense of remorse was addressed to all the countries which have gone through the experiences of the last world war. You may recall that, at the time of the 50th anniversary of World War II, then-Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama issued a statement by the Government of Japan to express its sincere feeling of deep remorse and heartfelt apology for the damages and suffering for the one-time past of Japan. This apology was addressed universally. Since the time of this apology, Prime Minister Tony Blair of the United Kingdom has been elected to his current position and has just concluded a visit to Japan. Therefore, we took the opportunity of this recent visit to once again express our feeling, so that this new bilateral relationship would be cemented in the future. Please be reminded that our apology is extended to all the countries who shared the same disastrous experiences. Q: So, are you saying that Prime Minister Hashimoto's statement from this week was just a restatement of what then-Prime Minister Murayama said on the 50th anniversary? Spokesman Tanaka: No, it is not really a restatement, but a new determination. Every time we make this type of statement, it is our expression of a new determination to build a new era together with other countries, particularly this time with Prime Minister Tony Blair, who is a young, fresh face in the international community and who has shown sufficient capability to lead that country and Europe into the 21st century. So, we wanted to share with him our perception for the new era. Q: So, you do not see a need to extend that apology to particular countries? Spokesman Tanaka: Whenever the opportunity arises and whenever necessary, we do not hesitate to renew our determination" (Press Conference by the Press Secretary. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/press/1998/1/116.html ).

07/15/1998 Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto. "The Government of Japan, painfully aware of its moral responsibility concerning the issue of so called "wartime comfort women," has been sincerely addressing this issue in close cooperation with the Asian Women's Fund which implements the projects to express the national atonement on this issue. Recognizing that the issue of comfort women, with an involvement of the Japanese military authorities at that time, was a grave affront to the honor and dignity of large numbers of women, I would like to convey to Your Excellency my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women.... By the Statement of Prime Minister in 1995, the Government of Japan renewed the feelings of deep remorse and the heartfelt apology for tremendous damage and suffering caused by Japan to the people of many countries including the Netherlands during a certain period in the past. My cabinet has not modified this position at all, and I myself laid a wreath to the Indisch Monument with these feelings on the occasion of my visit to the Netherlands in June last year" (The contents of the letter of the then Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto sent to the Netherlands Prime Minister Willem Kok on July 15, 1998. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/women/fund/project0107-3.html ).

10/08/1998 Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi. "Looking back on the relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea during this century, Prime Minister Obuchi regarded in a spirit of humility the fact of history that Japan caused, during a certain period in the past, tremendous damage and suffering to the people of the Republic of Korea through its colonial rule, and expressed his deep remorse and heartfelt apology for this fact. President Kim accepted with sincerity this statement of Prime Minister Obuchi's recognition of history and expressed his appreciation for it. He also expressed his view that the present calls upon both countries to overcome their unfortunate history and to build a future-oriented relationship based on reconciliation as well as good-neighborly and friendly cooperation" (Japan-Republic of Korea Joint Declaration A New Japan-Republic of Korea Partnership towards the Twenty-first Century. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/korea/joint9810.html ).

11/26/1998 Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi. "Both sides believe that squarely facing the past and correctly understanding history are the important foundation for further developing relations between Japan and China. The Japanese side observes the 1972 Joint Communique of the Government of Japan and the Government of the People's Republic of China and the 15 August 1995 Statement by former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama. The Japanese side is keenly conscious of the responsibility for the serious distress and damage that Japan caused to the Chinese people through its aggression against China during a certain period in the past and expressed deep remorse for this. The Chinese side hopes that the Japanese side will learn lessons from the history and adhere to the path of peace and development. Based on this, both sides will develop long-standing relations of friendship" (Japan-China Joint Declaration On Building a Partnership of Friendship and Cooperation for Peace and Development. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/china/visit98/joint.html ).

2000s

08/10/2000 Consul-General of Japan in Hong Kong Itaru Umezu. "In fact, Japan has clearly and repeatedly expressed its sincere remorse and apologies, and has dealt sincerely with reparation issues. These apologies were irrefutably expressed, in particular in Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama's official statement in 1995, which was based on a cabinet decision and which has subsequently been upheld by successive prime ministers, including Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori. Mr. Murayama said that Japan 'through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. In the hope that no such mistake be made in the future, I regard, in a spirit of humility, these irrefutable facts of history, and express here once again my feelings of deep remorse and state my heartfelt apology'" (Japan Has Faced Its Past. Far Eastern Economic Review, August 10, 2000. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site. Reprinted at http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/japan/opinion/umezu.html ).

08/17/2000 Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Ryuichiro Yamazaki. "The fact is that Japan has repeatedly expressed its remorse and stated its apology for wartime actions with the utmost clarity. A notable example is then Prime Minister's official statement in August 1995, based upon a Cabinet decision. In the statement, Mr. Murayama said that Japan 'through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations,' and he expressed his 'feelings of deep remorse' and stated his 'heartfelt apology.' As recently as 1998, then Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi reiterated gist of this statement to Chinese President Jiang Zeming when he paid a state visit to Japan" (Letter written in response to the article "Miffed Chinese Sue Japan Companies" in New York Times on 7 August 2000. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/j_info/japan/opinion/yamazaki4.html ).

08/30/2000 Minister for Foreign Affairs Yohei Kono. "I believe that Japan's perception of past history was clearly set out in the Statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama issued, following a Cabinet Decision, on the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II. As a member of the Cabinet, I participated in the drafting of that Statement. The spirit contained therein has been carried forth by successive administrations and is now the common view of the large number of Japanese people" (Address by Minister for Foreign Affairs Yohei Kono During His Visit to the People's Republic of China. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/china/fmv0008/address.html ).

04/03/2001 Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda. "Japan humbly accepts that for a period in the not too distant past, it caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations, through its colonial rule and aggression, and expresses its deep remorse and heartfelt apology for this. Such recognition has been succeeded by subsequent Cabinets and there is no change regarding this point in the present Cabinet" (Comments by the Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yasuo Fukuda on the history textbooks to be used in junior high schools from 2002. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/announce/2001/4/0403.html ).

09/08/2001 Minister for Foreign Affairs Makiko Tanaka. "We have never forgotten that Japan caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries during the last war. Many lost their precious lives and many were wounded. The war has left an incurable scar on many people, including former prisoners of war. Facing these facts of history in a spirit of humility, I reaffirm today our feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology expressed in the Prime Minister Murayama's statement of 1995" (Speech by Minister for Foreign Affairs Makiko Tanaka at the Ceremony in Commemoration of 50th anniversary of the Signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/n-america/us/fmv0109/010908.html).

10/15/2001 Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. "During the talks, President Kim highly appreciated the words of the Prime Minister Koizumi at Sodaemun Independence Park, in which he expressed remorse and apology for Japan's colonial domination" (Prime Minister Visits the Republic of Korea. Official website of Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet, Retrieved from http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/koizumiphoto/2001/10/15korea_e.html ).

na/na/2001 Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi (Also signed by all the prime ministers since 1995, including Ryutaro Hashimoto, Keizo Obuchi, Yoshiro Mori). "As Prime Minister of Japan, I thus extend anew my most sincere apologies and remorse to all the women who underwent immeasurable and painful experiences and suffered incurable physical and psychological wounds as comfort women. We must not evade the weight of the past, nor should we evade our responsibilities for the future. I believe that our country, painfully aware of its moral responsibilities, with feelings of apology and remorse, should face up squarely to its past history and accurately convey it to future generations" (Letter from Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to the former comfort women. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/policy/women/fund/pmletter.html ).

09/17/2002 Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. "The Japanese side regards, in a spirit of humility, the facts of history that Japan caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of Korea through its colonial rule in the past, and expressed deep remorse and heartfelt apology" (Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/n_korea/pmv0209/pyongyang.html ).

08/15/2003 Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. "During the war, Japan caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. On behalf of the people of Japan, I hereby renew my feelings of profound remorse as I express my sincere mourning to the victims" (Address by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at the 58th Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead. Official website of Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet, Retrieved from http://www.kantei.go.jp/foreign/koizumispeech/2003/08/15sikiji_e.html ).

04/13/2005 Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura. "(Japan) deeply regrets to have given immense pain to Koreans until 1945." (Machimura to Korean lawmakers, who visited Tokyo to protest Japan's renewed claims on the island Korea calls Dokdo and Japan Takeshima, and the release of textbooks that are said to whitewash Japan's imperialism. The Korea Herald, Retrieved from http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/SITE/data/html_dir/2005/04/14/200504140019.asp ).

04/22/2005 Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. "In the past, Japan, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. Japan squarely faces these facts of history in a spirit of humility. And with feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology always engraved in mind, Japan has resolutely maintained, consistently since the end of World War II, never turning into a military power but an economic power, its principle of resolving all matters by peaceful means, without recourse to force." (Koizumi speech at Asian-African Summit in Jakarta, Indonesia. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/meet0504/speech.html ).

05/1/2005 Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. "Humbly accepting the fact that Japan inflicted grave damage and pain on people of many countries including the Netherlands during the Second World War, we would like to deeply reflect on this and offer heartfelt apology." (Koizumi to Dutch lawmakers during a visit to the Netherlands to garner support for Japan's bid to be accepted as a permanent member of the UN Security Council. Xinhua, Retrieved from http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-05/03/content_2909558.htm ).

08/15/2005 Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. "In the past, Japan, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. Sincerely facing these facts of history, I once again express my feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology, and also express the feelings of mourning for all victims, both at home and abroad, in the war. I am determined not to allow the lessons of that horrible war to erode, and to contribute to the peace and prosperity of the world without ever again waging a war." (Koizumi on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the end of WWII. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan Web Site, Retrieved from http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/announce/2005/8/0815.html ).

02/18/2006 Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Ryuichiro Yamazaki. "The terror that each Filipino man, woman and child must have experienced in Manila 61 years ago is beyond the imagination of any sane human being. With this historical fact in mind, I would like to express my heartfelt apologies and deep sense of remorse over the tragic fate of Manila. Let me also reiterate the Japanese government's determination not to allow the lessons of that horrible World War II to erode, and to contribute to the peace and prosperity of the world without ever waging a war." (Yamazaki during a ceremony to mark the 61st anniversary of the Battle for Manila. Philippine Daily Inquirer, Retrieved from http://news.inq7.net/metro/index.php?index=1&story_id=66630 ).

10/20/2006 Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Ryuichiro Yamazaki. "I would like to reiterate my heartfelt apology and deep sense of remorse and reflection over the tragic fate of all those who fought to defend this country against Japanese military aggression and the atrocities committed by (its army)." (Yamazaki during the commemorative program of the Leyte Gulf Landings' 62nd anniversary held in Palo, Leyte. Balita, Retrieved from http://news.balita.ph/html/article.php/20061021185709228 ).

Related links:

  1. Topics Related to Postwar Issues (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan)
  2. List of sites about the Pacific War and Japanese war crimes
  3. Responses of Germany and Japan to World War II crimes (Wikipedia)

Source: Wikipedia, and other sources as noted.

Keywords: war_apologies

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The now legendary Sir Ernest Mason Satow (1843-1929) was a member of the British legation in Tokyo for twenty-one years. This classic book is based on the author's detailed diary, personal encounters, and keen memory. In it, Satow records the history of the critical years of social and political upheaval that accompanied Japan's first encounters with the West around the time of the Meiji Restoration. Fascinating.
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