Japan PM regrets WW2 suffering

2009-08-16 10:39 BJT

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Japan's Prime Minister has expressed his deep regret for the suffering inflicted on millions of Asians by his country during World War II.

Taro Aso was speaking in Tokyo on the 64th anniversary of the country's surrender on Saturday.

Prime Minister Taro Aso joined thousands of bereaved families to pay respect to the millions of Japanese who lost their lives in the war.

He said Japan should humbly reflect upon the past, never forget the pain of the war, and pass on the lessons it learned to future generations.

Taro Aso, Japan's Prime Minister, said, "Japan inflicted great pain on people of many countries, especially Asian countries. Along with deep regret, I express my remorse for the victims of the war. I swear that Japan will never again wage war, and will contribute to the permanent peace of the world."

Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko also attended the ceremony, leading a one-minute silence at noon.

Also on Saturday, former Japanese Prime Ministers Junichiro Koizumi and Shinzo Abe visited Tokyo's war-related Yasukuni Shrine.

One of Aso's Cabinet ministers, Consumer Affairs Minister Seiko Noda, also visited the shrine on Saturday, along with some 40 lawmakers.

The Yasukuni Shrine honors the two-and-a-half million Japanese war dead,including 14 leading war criminals,and previous visits by Japanese leaders have angered Japan's Asian neighbors. The shrine is seen as a symbol of Japan's past militarism.

Editor: Zhang Pengfei | Source: CCTV.com