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Japan government to review statements on wartime history

Published on Jan 29, 2013 5:25 PM
 
In this file photo, Japan's Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura, speaks during a press conference at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo early on Thursday, Dec 27, 2012. Japan's government will review statements by previous administrations about wartime history including a landmark 1995 apology, Mr Shimomura said on Tuesday, Jan 29, 2013, but added that any changes would not mean rejecting those statements but making them more "forward-looking". -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's government will review statements by previous administrations about wartime history including a landmark 1995 apology, Japan's education minister said, but added that any changes would not mean rejecting those statements but making them more "forward-looking".

Any moves to renege on the 1995 apology by then-Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama - now in Beijing on a mission aimed at soothing tension over a territorial row - would raise hackles in both China and South Korea, where bitter memories of Japan's military aggression and colonisation run deep.

The government will also review guidelines for school textbook publishers aimed at addressing the sensitivities of neighbouring countries which suffered under Japan's military invasion and colonisation, Education Minister Hakubun Shimomura told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.

"The government as a whole plans to review these (statements) issued by past cabinets concerning historical perspective," Mr Shimomura said.

 
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