Abe panel opens talks on issues after WWII

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told an advisory panel on Wednesday that a statement he will issue to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will reflect on postwar history and offer young people a vision of the Asian future in the 21st century.

"On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the war's end, I will candidly look back over our history in the 20th century while also sketching a vision of 21st-century Asia for the sake of young people," Abe said at an inaugural meeting of the 16-member panel tasked with advising the prime minister about the details of his statement to be issued this summer.

Members of the committee, chaired by Japan Post Holdings Co. President Taizo Nishimuro, met for their first session at the Prime Minister's Office on Wednesday night. The panel will meet to promote discussions on pertinent issues at least once a month.

The prime minister plans to prepare the 70th-anniversary statement after hearing and studying the final results of the panel's deliberations.

The panel comprises figures from a wide range of fields, including the business and academic communities, as well as the media.

5-point agenda for panel discussions

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe asked the panel to fully debate the following issues:

- How should the 20th century be viewed globally, and what lessons should we learn from the course of the 20th century?

- What kind of path has Japan followed during the past 70 years, based on the lessons learned from the 20th century? In particular, how have Japan's postwar pacifism and global contributions been valued internationally?

- What kind of path has Japan taken in the pursuit of reconciliation with its Asian neighbours, European nations, the United States and Australia?

- What kind of vision should be sketched regarding Asia in the 21st century, based on the lessons drawn from the 20th century, and what kind of contributions should Japan make to this vision?

- What specific measures should Japan implement on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the war's end?