The Prime Minister of Japan pledged not to let the ravages of war happen again on the 75th anniversary of the surrender of the Allies in World War II.
“Never let the tragedy of war be repeated. We will continue to maintain this steadfast commitment,” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said today at the 75th anniversary of Japan’s surrender during World War II. .
The scale of this year’s celebrations has been reduced to only 1/10 compared to last year due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. On this occasion, Mr. Abe sent worship services to Yasukuni Shrine, a place of worship for Japanese who died in the war, but did not visit to avoid causing tension with China and South Korea.
Emperor Naruhito also expressed “deep regrets” of the country’s wartime past and prayed for world peace.
“I sincerely hope that the ravages of war will never happen again,” the 60-year-old emperor said at a ceremony for those who died of war. Mr. Naruhito is the grandson of Emperor Hirohito, who ruled Japan during World War II.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends a memorial service to the 1945 atomic bomb victims at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on August 6. Photo: Reuters.
Mr. Naruhito is the first emperor born after the war, taking the throne last year after his father, Emperor Akihito, abdicated. He and Empress Masako have barely appeared in public since the Covid-19 outbreak in Japan earlier this year. The emperor also expressed his hope that the country could overcome the pandemic together.
Yasukuni Shrine worships millions of Japanese who died in the war, including high-ranking generals convicted of war crimes during World War II. For decades, this temple has been the subject of controversy between Japan and China, South Korea and North Korea.
Mr Abe and Japan’s nationalists believe that the Yasukuni Shrine is just a memorial to the dead soldiers. He compared this place to the Arlington National Cemetery in America.
In December 2013, Mr. Abe visited Yasukuni Shrine to mark his first year in power. This action made Beijing and Seoul angry, and US allies also expressed dissatisfaction with the move. Since then, Mr. Abe only sent offerings to Yasukuni Shrine.