China said on Friday that Japan should apologise sincerely to countries that suffered during its military aggression, responding to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s comments commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui expressed China’s position to the Japanese ambassador after Abe’s remarks, his ministry said in a statement.
“Japan should make a clear explanation and a sincere apology to the people of the countries who suffered from that era of military aggression,” the ministry said, in Chinese, urging Japan to “take concrete actions to gain the trust of its Asian neighbours and the global community.”
Earlier on Friday, Abe expressed “utmost grief” for the “immeasurable damage and suffering” Japan inflicted in World War Two, but said that future generations of Japanese should not have to keep apologising for the mistakes of the past.
Abe also said he stood by past official apologies, including a landmark 1995 statement by then-premier Tomiichi Murayama, but offered no new apology of his own.