Japan Premier to Apologize for War Acts

From Associated Press

Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu said today that he will apologize for Japan’s wartime aggression when he meets South Korea’s president next week, but the government is less willing to have the emperor make a similar statement.

“I think I should express frank regret about our mistakes in the past and apologize for them,” Kaifu told Parliament. He was responding to an opposition question about news reports that South Korean President Roh Tae Woo expects an apology from Emperor Akihito during the president’s three-day trip to Japan, which begins May 24.

Japan ruled Korea as a colony from 1910 to 1945, and Koreans have bitter memories of harsh treatment under the Japanese, along with the legacy of their country’s division since the war’s end.

Leaders of Japan’s governing Liberal Democratic Party expressed strong opposition to a royal apology.