TAIPEI, Taiwan - President Ma Ying-jeou called upon the Japanese government to "face up to historical realities and introspect deeply" about its role in Second World War following an official statement made by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the 70th anniversary of the end of the conflict, yesterday.
Ma's statement was made through Presidential Office spokesman Charles Chen, who said that the "wrongs committed in the past could be forgiven, but not forgotten." Chen said that the president's stance has always been to discuss incidents on their merits. While he supported the technical expertise of Japanese specialists during the country's colonial occupation of Taiwan in developing the island's economy, he also said that the Japanese imperial army's war of aggression and resulting loss of life to citizens and soldiers of the R.O.C. was still causing pain to survivors.
The president stated that the Japanese government's "foresight and attitude of responsibility" on past actions would help bring increased efforts at peace and co-operation with neighbouring Asian countries.
In a nationally televised address, Abe said that his country inflicted "immeasurable damage and suffering" during World War Two, though he stopped short of making a personal expression of regret as his predecessors have done.