The Yomiuri Shimbun
70th anniversary statement must convey Japan’s contributions to world peace
戦後70年談話 平和貢献の決意を発信したい

What roles should Japan play for the world’s peace and prosperity, while taking into account reflections on its past? It is important for Japan to convey a future-oriented message to the international community.
過去への反省を踏まえつつ、世界の平和と繁栄に日本がどんな役割を果たすのか。未来志向のメッセージを対外発信することが肝要である。
 
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made clear that he intends to establish later this month an expert panel on the statement he will issue this summer on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. The panel will discuss the content and the expressions to be used in the statement.
安倍首相が、今夏に発表する予定の戦後70年の首相談話に関して月内に有識者会議を設置し、談話の内容や表現方法を議論してもらう意向を表明している。

In the statement, Abe intends to include reflections on the war, Japan’s postwar path as a pacifist nation and its future international contributions.
談話には、大戦への反省、戦後の平和国家の歩み、今後の国際貢献などを盛り込む考えだ。

It is significant for Japan to specify to the international community not only its historical perceptions of developments before and during the war, but the course this nation will take in the future and its policy direction, after reviewing postwar Japan’s historical path.
戦前・戦中に関する歴史認識だけでなく、戦後日本を総括したうえで、将来の針路や政策の方向性について、国際社会に明示することは重要な意義を持つ。

After the war, Japan promoted its peace-oriented diplomacy by consistently attaching importance to the Japan-U.S. alliance and international cooperation. Japan’s contributions to the international community through its official development assistance and its participation in U.N. peacekeeping operations have been highly acclaimed.
日本は戦後、一貫して日米同盟と国際協調を重視し、平和外交を推進してきた。政府開発援助(ODA)や国連平和維持活動(PKO)などを通じた貢献は、高い評価を受けている。

The international community now faces threats in diverse forms, such as regional conflicts, proliferation of international terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, poverty and environmental destruction.
国際社会は今、地域紛争や、国際テロと大量破壊兵器の拡散、貧困、環境破壊など、様々な脅威に直面する。

Japan should spell out specifically its stance in tackling these challenges ever more actively in the days ahead, on the basis of its policy of “proactive contribution to peace.”
日本が今後、「積極的平和主義」に基づき、こうした課題に、より能動的に取り組む姿勢を明確に打ち出すべきだろう。

In the statement issued on the 50th anniversary, then Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama said Japan “caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of ... Asian nations” through “its colonial rule and aggression,” and expressed “deep remorse” and a “heartfelt apology” over Japan’s conduct before and during the war.
戦後50年の村山談話は、「植民地支配と侵略」でアジア諸国などに「多大の損害と苦痛を与えた」として、「痛切な反省」と「心からのお詫わび」を表明した。

Japan-U.S. alliance as key

The historical perception of Murayama has been inherited by the cabinets that followed. The statement made by then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on the 60th anniversary followed a set of wordings and expressions made in the Murayama statement.
この認識は、歴代内閣に引き継がれている。戦後60年の小泉談話も、一連の文言を踏襲した。

Abe has repeatedly made clear that he would “inherit as a whole” the tone of the statements by the administrations of Murayama and Koizumi.
安倍首相は、村山、小泉両談話について、「全体として引き継ぐ」と何度も明言している。

With regards to such particular wordings as “colonial rule” and “aggression,” however, he has indicated his stance of not necessarily sticking to the previous statements, saying, “If it is modeled on the style used in the past, there could be nit-picking arguments over it.”
一方で、植民地支配、侵略など個別の文言については、「今までのスタイルを下敷きにすると、細々した議論になる」と述べ、必ずしもこだわらない考えも示す。

Is it appropriate for an administration to apologize for Japan’s conduct during the war every time a prime minister issues a statement? Or is it right for attention to be drawn chiefly to differences in wording from past statements? Abe appears to be aware of these issues. We can understand him on these points.
首相談話を出す度に、大戦への謝罪を続けることが適切なのか。過去の談話との違いばかりに関心が集まることが良いのか。首相には、こうした問題意識があるようだ。その点は理解できる。

Abe plans to make an official visit to the United States during the Golden Week holidays, with both governments making arrangements to issue a joint statement that will set forth the future of the Japan-U.S. alliance based on their bilateral relationship over the 70 years since the end of the war.
首相は、今春の大型連休に米国を公式訪問し、戦後70年と今後の日米関係に関する共同文書を発表する方向で調整している。

The joint statement is expected to contain a view that Japan has contributed to the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region and of the world, through the Japan-U.S. alliance after the war and a policy of further reinforcing the bilateral alliance.
共同文書には、日本が日米同盟を通じてアジア太平洋地域と世界の平和と安定に寄与してきたとの見解や、同盟関係を一層強化する方針が盛り込まれる見通しだ。

The prime minister’s statement on the 70th anniversary will draw much attention among many countries, including China and South Korea, and will likely make a political impact. Therefore, it is important to coordinate in advance the perceptions of both Japan and the United States through the joint statement.
今夏の70年談話は、中国、韓国など多くの国が注目し、政治的な影響もあろう。その前に共同文書により、日米両国の認識を調整しておくことは重要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 19, 2015)

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