Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama marked the 50th anniversary of the end of World War Two on Tuesday (August 15) by issuing the first clear-cut apology by a Japanese premier for the country's wartime actions.
(AUGUST 15, 1995 AND FILE)
(REUTERS TELEVISION/TV TOKYO
PART NO ACCESS JAPAN
BBC WORLD, CNN, NBC, CNBC MUST ON-SCREEN COURTESY
TV TOKYO IF MATERIAL TO BE SHOWN ON CABLE OR
COMMUNICATION SATELLITE SERVICES IN JAPAN
VARIOUS LOCATIONS (FILE) (RTV - ACCESS ALL)
1. GV: JAPANESE SOLDIERS MARCHING, EMPEROR ON WHITE HORSE 0.11
2. GV: BATTLE IN CHINA (4 SHOTS) 0.27
3. GV: BATTLE IN PACIFIC OCEAN (2 SHOTS) 0.34
4. GV: U.S.S. MISSOURI IN TOKYO BAY (AUGUST 1945)
JAPANESE AND AMERICAN DELEGATES SIGN DOCUMENTS ENDING
PACIFIC WAR (8 SHOTS) 0.59
5. LV: IMPERIAL PALACE 1.02
6. GV: PEOPLE LISTENING EMPEROR'S SPEECH AND CRYING
ON AUGUST 15, 1945 1.05
7. GV: PEOPLE CRYING AT YASUKUNI SHRINE 1.11
TOKYO (AUGUST 15, 1995) (TV TOKYO - NO ACCESS JAPAN)
8. SV/MCU: PRIME MINISTER TOMIICHI MURAYAMA SAYS "DURING A
CERTAIN PERIOD IN THE NOT TOO DISTANT PAST, JAPAN,
FOLLOWING A MISTAKEN NATIONAL POLICY, ADVANCED ALONG
THE ROAD TO WAR, ONLY TO ENSNARE THAT JAPANESE PEOPLE
IN A FATEFUL CRISIS AND THROUGH ITS COLONIAL RULE AND
AGGRESSION CAUSED TREMENDOUS DAMAGE AND SUFFERING
TO THE PEOPLE OF MANY COUNTRIES, PARTICULARLY TO THOSE
OF ASIAN NATIONS. IN THE HOPE THAT NO SUCH
MISTAKE BE MADE IN THE FUTURE, I REGARD, IN A SPIRIT OF
HUMILITY, THESE IRREFUTABLE FACTS OF HISTORY, AND EXPRESS HERE
ONCE AGAIN MY FEELINGS OF DEEP REMORSE AND STATE MY HEARTFELT
APOLOGY. ALLOW ME ALSO TO EXPRESS MY FEELINGS OF PROFOUND
MOURNING FOR ALL VICTIMS, BOTH AT HOME AND ABROAD, OF THAT
HISTORY." (JAPANESE) (3 SHOTS) 2.02
9. GV: RYUTARO HASHIMOTO, MINISTER OF INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND
INDUSTRY ARRIVING YASUKUNI SHRINE TO PRAY FOR WAR DEAD 2.12
TOKYO, JAPAN (AUGUST 15, 1995) (RTV - ACCESS ALL)
10. GV: POLITICIANS FROM LIBERAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY, SAKIGAKE
PARTY, AND NEW FRONTIER PARTY FOLLOWING PRIEST IN YASUKUNI
11. LV: BUDOKAN HALL WHERE GOVERNMENT-SPONSORED MEMORIAL
SERVICE WAS TAKEN PLACE 2.26
12. GV: EMPEROR AKIHITO AND EMPRESS MICHIKO COMING ON STAGE 2.41
13. LV: AUDIENCE STANDING UP 2.45
14. GV: MINUTE OF SILENCE/ AUDIENCE/MURAYAMA (3 SHOTS) 3.00
15. SV: EMPEROR AKIHITO SAYS "I EARNESTLY
WISH THAT THE PAINS OF WAR
WILL NEVER BE REPEATED AND WITH ALL CITIZENS, I WOULD LIKE TO
OFFER MY HEARTFELT CONDOLENCES TO THOSE WHO FELL IN BATTLE OR
WERE KILLED IN THE WAR AND PRAY FOR WORLD PEACE AND THE
PROSPERITY OF OUR NATION." (JAPANESE) 3.21
16. GV: RIGHT WINGER CARRYING JAPANESE FLAG, COMES TO PRAY AT
YASUKUNI SHRINE 3.27
17. GV: RIGHT WING GROUP WEARING OLD JAPANESE MILITARY
UNIFORMS, MARCHING 3.32
18. GV/MV: PEOPLE PRAYING AT YASUKUNI SHRINE (2 SHOTS) 3.40
19. CU: TOKUSAWA IWATO, 67, SAYS "JAPAN SHOULD COMPENSATE INVADED
COUNTRIES TO THE SAME AMOUNT THAT GERMANY
DID," (JAPANESE) 3.47
20. CU: ERIKO KANO, 19, SAYS "IT WAS TOO LATE TO APOLOGISE. WE
SHOULD HAVE DONE IT RIGHT AFTER THE WAR," (JAPANESE) 3.52
21. LV: MURAYAMA SPEAKING IN FRONT OF FORMER COMFORT WOMEN 3.56
22. MV: FORMER SOUTH KOREAN COMFORT WOMEN LISTENING 3.58
23. MCU: MURAYAMA SAYS "WHAT WE HAVE DONE CANNOT BE MADE
UP FOR NO MATTER WHAT I HEARBY APOLOGISE," (JAPANESE) 4.10
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Background: Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama marked the 50th anniversary of the end of World War Two on Tuesday (August 15) by issuing the first clear-cut apology by a Japanese premier for the country's wartime actions.
Reading a speech commemorating the anniversary, Murayama expressed "sincere apologies" about Japan's role in the war, becoming the first Japanese prime minister to use the sensitive word "apology" when publicly reflecting on World War Two.
"To forego any mistakes in the future, I accept the truth of this history (of Japan's role in the war) which cannot be doubted and I would like to express anew my deep reflection and sincere apologies," he said.
It was the first time a Japanese prime minister has issued such an unambiguous apology over the country's wartime actions specifically using the word "apology" instead of more muted words like "remorse" and "regret".
Murayama's statement came just before he was to attend a memorial service marking the anniversary of Japan's defeat in World War Two.
"I would also like to offer my deep condolences to all the victims, both at home and abroad, that this history brought about," he said.
Murayama's latest statement followed a parliamentary resolution which only expressed "deep reflection" about Japan's history of aggression and brutal colonial rule, a gesture which did not please its Asian neighbours and other victims of the war.
Successive Japanese governments had stopped short of issuing straightforward apologies for fear this would dishonour its war dead.
Emperor Akihito and Murayama attended a government-sponsored memorial service at the Budokan, or Martial Arts Hall, just outside Tokyo's Imperial Palace, to pay their respects to Japan's war dead and offer pledges of peace.
In Yasukuni shrine, where those who died in World War Two are burried, about 90 lawmakers including seven ministers came to pray.