As Japan marked 75 years since its surrender to end World War II on
Saturday, Emperor Naruhito expressed “deep remorse” over his country’s actions
during World War II.
“I earnestly hope that the ravages of war will never again be
repeated,” he said at a memorial service.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, too addressed the country at the
memorial service where he pledged never to “repeat the tragedy of war.” The occasion
this year was muted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
PM Abe was seen in a mask
at the event held at Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo where he said that Japan
would “continue to remain committed to this resolute pledge.”
The PM marked the occasion by sending an offering to Yasukuni, a controversial war
shrine in Tokyo, but did not visit in person, reported BBC.
However, it was visited by a few Japanese ministers and thousands
of countrymen who braved scorching heat and COVID-19 pandemic to pay their respects
at the shrine which is home to the spirits of Japan’s 2.5
million war dead.
Emperor Naruhito delivered a short speech at a memorial service in
Tokyo, which was scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic. About 500 people
were in attendance compared to more than 6,000 last year and face masks were
“Looking back on the long period of post-war peace, reflecting on
our past and bearing in mind the feelings of deep remorse, I earnestly hope
that the ravages of war will never again be repeated,” he said at the
Naruhito, 60, began his reign in May last year after his father, Emperor
Akihito, became the first monarch to abdicate the throne in more than 200
The occasion was also commemorated in the United Kingdom through a
televised remembrance service that took place at the National Memorial
Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire.
On 15 August, Japanese Emperor
Hirohito was heard on the radio for the first time and announced an end to the
fighting. The country’s official surrender was signed on 2 September that same