Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed "profound grief" over his country's actions in World War Two. In the statement marking 70 years since Japan's WW2 surrender, he said apologies made by previous governments were "unshakeable".Mr Abe pledged that Japan would "never wage a war again".
His speech has been closely watched by Asian countries, including South Korea and China, amid concerns he would play down Japan's wartime atrocities. China and South Korea in particular suffered extensively under Japanese wartime occupation, and say Japan has never fully atoned for its actions. Mr Abe said that Japan had inflicted "immeasurable damage and suffering" on "innocent people" during the war.
He upheld apologies issued by past governments, but did not issue a new formal apology of his own. "Japan has repeatedly expressed the feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology for its actions during the war," he said. "Such position articulated by the previous cabinets will remain unshakeable into the future," the official translation of his remarks said.