Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has expressed “profound grief” for all who died in the Second World War in a statement marking the 70th anniversary of the country’s surrender.
In a statement delivered live on national television, Mr Abe acknowledged that Japan inflicted “immeasurable damage and suffering” on innocent people in the war, and apologised for Japan’s actions.
The statement was closely watched by Japan’s neighbours, especially South Korea and China. Resentment over invasion, occupation and atrocities by the Japanese Imperial Army before and during the war still hampers relations between Japan and many east Asian countries decades after the war ended with the 1945 surrender.
Mr Abe said Japan must face its history squarely, but that future generations should not have to continue apologising.