Germany urges Japan to deal honestly with World War II past: On Monday Germany’s government said it had tried to deal “honestly” with its Second World War past and urged Japan to do the same, said reports.
The remarks were made following Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s surprise visit to the controversial Yasukuni shrine which honours Japanese war dead, including several high-level officials executed for war crimes after World War II.
“I do not wish to comment on questions related to Japanese domestic politics,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert to reporters when he was asked about Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni shrine which enraged China and South Korea.
“But in general all nations must honestly live up to their role in the horrible events of the 20th century. Only on the basis of this honest accounting is it possible to build a future with former foes. This is a conviction Germany takes to heart and which in my opinion applies to all states.”
Abe’s visit to the shrine which serves as a reminder of Japan’s wartime aggression came at a time when tension between Japan and China are at a high level because of a territorial dispute over islands in the East China Sea that both nations claim.
German foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said that Berlin was following the “tensions in the East China Sea with some concern and very closely”.
“In our view it would be helpful if all sides strived for restraint and moderation and jointly sought a diplomatic solution for running conflicts and, in particular, avoided unilateral steps that could heighten the tensions in the region.”
Germany takes pride in what it sees as its own honest effort to make amends for its World War II aggression and the murder of six million European Jews in the Holocaust, though critics say there is still more that it can do, said reports.