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Former Japanese PM calls for reflection on history

Former Japanese Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama said on Saturday that Japan needs to look at its wartime history and face up to its past if it plans to regain trust from its neighboring countries. He made the remarks as he addressed a gathering to enhance relations between Japan and China.

Murayama offered an apology for Japan's past war atrocities in 1995 in his then capacity as prime minister. His words come as the current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans to issue a new statement this year to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War two. Abe has indicated that the new statement may not include the same wording used in the previous apology.

Meanwhile, Chinese Consul-general to Fukuoka Li Tianran spoke highly of the 1995 Murayama Statement, stating its importance in recognizing historical truths, and helping to improve relations between Japan and neighboring countries. He hoped that Japan could thoroughly reflect on its wartime history to gain the trust of the international community.

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