Emperor Naruhito has expressed deep remorse over Japan’s role in World War II in his first appearance at the annual ceremony marking the end of the hostilities.
The 59-year-old monarch is Japan’s first emperor born after the war, and his remarks Thursday followed the stance of his father, Akihito, who abdicated in May.
Naruhito, attending an event in Tokyo on the 74th anniversary of the war’s end, expressed “the feelings of deep remorse” over the tragedy. He pledged to reflect on the wartime past and expressed hope that the tragedy should never be repeated.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stayed away from a Tokyo shrine that honors convicted war criminals among the war dead, but did not apologize or acknowledge Japanese wartime atrocities.