Japan’s emperor makes last war-end anniversary speech

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Tokyo: Japan’s Emperor Akihito has expressed deep remorse over his country’s role in World War II as he made his last appearance at a ceremony marking the end of the hostilities.

The 84-year-old emperor made his final war-end anniversary speech before his abdication scheduled in April. He will be succeeded by his son, Crown Prince Naruhito.

Akihito, attending today’s 73rd anniversary of the end of the war at Tokyo’s Budokan hall, expressed “the feelings of deep remorse” over the tragedy. He pledged to reflect on the wartime past and expressed hope that the tragedy should never be repeated.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stayed away from a Tokyo shrine that honors convicted war criminals among the war dead, apparently not to upset neighbouring countries.

Abe instead sent religious offerings to the shrine.

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