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Thursday, August 6, 2015, 17:37

Key Japan report doesn't mention apology

By Xinhua

Key Japan report doesn't mention apology
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivers a speech during the 70th memorial service for the A-bomb victims at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima on Aug 6, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / JIJI PRESS JAPAN OUT)

TOKYO - A Japan government panel cites lack of reconciliation with China and South Korea but stopped short of recommending Prime Minister Shinzo Abe apologize for wartime atrocities.

The 38-page report was sent to Abe Thursday afternoon, with the Prime Minister saying that he would draft his statement due to be released Aug 14 based on the report.

Several members of the 16-member panel questioned the definition of "aggression". Abe said he would not repeat keywords such as "aggression and colonial rule" and "heartfelt apology" in his statement. The choice of words were favored by former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama in 1995 in a landmark statement that offered apology to Japan's Asian neighbors for its wartime atrocities.

The so-called "Abe Statement" will be closely watched by its neighbors China and South Korea. Both victims of Japan's wartime atrocities have urged Japan to face up to its dark past in order to mend ties.

The panel noted in the report that reconciliation between Japan and China was happening in phases, but reconciling with South Korea was proving difficult as the South Korean government "finds no significance in dealing with Japan rationally."

The panelists say that Japan has reconciled with the United States, Australia, European and Southeast Asian countries in the past 70 years.

The report noted that Japan had escalated its aggression on the Korean Peninsula since 1931 and that the war had caused great damage to the victim countries, adding that the country had since totally changed inspired by "deep remorse."

The report also recommends Japan contribute more to world stability by enhancing education on modern and contemporary history and engaging in further study on world and Asian history.

In the report, the panel also recommends Japan shoulder greater responsibility for peace and prosperity in Asia by adopting defined security bills.

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