Singapore issues response to Japanese PM Abe's 70th WWII anniversary statement

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe bowing before placing a flower on an altar during an annual memorial service for war victims in Tokyo on Aug 15, 2015. Japan marked the 70th anniversary of the end of the World War II on August 15 under criticism fro
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe bowing before placing a flower on an altar during an annual memorial service for war victims in Tokyo on Aug 15, 2015. Japan marked the 70th anniversary of the end of the World War II on August 15 under criticism from neighbours China and South Korea which said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's speech the day before failed to properly apologise for Tokyo's past aggression.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Singapore on Sunday issued its response to the speech made by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

In a statement released on Sunday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) noted that Mr Abe's speech  made on Friday "expresses profound grief and sincere condolences for those who perished during the War". It said that the speech also acknowledged that Japan had "repeatedly expressed the feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology for its actions during the war" and that "such position articulated by previous Japanese cabinets will remain unshakeable". The MFA also noted that Mr Abe had said that "Japan should squarely face the past, take the lessons of history deeply and make all efforts for peace and prosperity".

The MFA also noted that Emperor Akihito had on Saturday also expressed the need for Japan to reflect on its past "bearing in mind the feelings of deep remorse over the last war".

Singapore, the MFA said, had not forgotten the horrors and suffering of World War II.

"Singapore's position is that Japan should accept clear responsibility for the war. At the same time, it is equally important for all countries to build upon the statements of His Majesty Emperor Akihito, Prime Minister Abe and previous Japanese cabinets to seek further reconciliation and move forward," the MFA said. "This will benefit our region and the world."