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Japan

Japanese Emperor and Empress mark 75th anniversary of surrender


OFFICIAL WHITE HOUSE PHOTO BY ANDEA HANKS

Emperor Naruhito of Japan and his wife, Empress Masako, have marked the 75th anniversary of the country’s surrender in the Second World War. Emperor Naruhito is the grandson of Emperor Hirohito who reigned during the Second World War.

The Emperor expressed a “deep remorse” over Japan’s wartime actions in a ceremony that was curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic. He pledged to reflect on the events of the war and expressed the hope that it would not be repeated. “Reflecting on our past and bearing in mind the feelings of deep remorse, I earnestly hope that the ravages of war will never be repeated,” Emperor Naruhito said in a short speech.

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The ceremony was attended by just 500 participants, in contrast to the 6,200 last year, and a minute of silence was held to mourn the war dead. The participants were required to wear masks, and there was no singing of the national anthem.

Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, showed no such remorse, and he has never acknowledged Japan’s wartime actions. He did say that the peace that Japan now enjoys was built on the sacrifices of those who died in the war and that Japan would reflect on lessons from history. He also listed the damages inflicted on the people of Japan, such as the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.