A crowd of a number of hundred — each face coated with a masks — got here collectively Saturday in Tokyo to mark the 75th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War II.
This yr’s ceremony was markedly totally different than in years previous as a result of of the coronavirus pandemic. As a substitute of 6,000, the quantity of company totaled solely 600 — they usually sat far aside. A live performance changed the singing of the nationwide anthem, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wore a masks, too.
“By no means to repeat the tragedy of conflict. We are going to proceed to stay dedicated to this resolute pledge,” Abe stated at an official ceremony, Reuters reported.
The prime minister despatched a ritual providing to the Yasukuni Shrine, however didn’t go to the memorial, the place 1000’s stood in 95-degree warmth for hours to pay their respects to the conflict lifeless.
However Yasukuni not solely honors conflict lifeless, but in addition 14 Japanese wartime leaders convicted as conflict criminals by an Allied tribunal, which angers China and South Korea. Each international locations have been outraged by Abe’s final go to to the shrine in December 2013.
Koreans mark Aug. 15 as Nationwide Liberation Day as a result of of Japan’s colonization of the Korean Peninsula from 1910 to 1945. The Chinese language resent Japan for occupying components of their nation from 1931 to 1945.
In Seoul, President Moon Jae-in instructed a crowd that South Korea would willingly focus on any disputes in regards to the conflict with Japan. South Korea’s international ministry spokesman pressed Japan to indicate “deep regret by way of motion.”
A commentary by China’s army, the Individuals’s Liberation Military, warned: “We should be taught from historical past, let historical past be a warning for the long run, and present that we’re ready to combat within the occasion of a conflict,” Reuters reported.
Abe maintains future generations shouldn’t must apologize for Japan’s army previous, though Emperor Naruhito expressed “deep regret” in his remarks.