Japan makes contradictory comments on history ahead of trilateral summitUpdated: 2014-03-24 14:38:51 (KST)
Visiting the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam on Sunday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stressed the importance of preserving history for the next generation.
"We would like to face the historical facts in a humble manner, but also, we like to pass on the lessons and the facts of history to the next generation. By doing so, I would like to realize peace in the entire international community."
The Anne Frank House is where the German-born Jewish girl kept a diary of her life in hiding before she died in a Nazi concentration camp.
The Japanese government said Abe's visit to one of the best-known memorials to the victims of the holocaust showed his willingness to acknowledge historical facts.
The visit is being seen as a diplomatic move ahead of Abe's trilateral summit with President Park Geun-hye and U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.
Abe's first official meeting with the South Korean leader comes after he vowed to uphold Japan's landmark apology issued to the victims of its wartime sexual enslavement during the Second World War.
But a comment made by one of Abe's close aides is once again raising eyebrows about Japan's sincerity.
Koichi Hagiuda said Sunday that Tokyo should consider issuing a new political statement on the so-called "comfort women" issue, if fresh findings emerge while the government verifies how the existing apology was compiled.
He stressed the Japanese leader did not deny the possibility of issuing a new statement.
Hagiuda's comments should not be taken lightly as he had foreseen Abe's visit to the controversial Yasukuni shrine last year.
South Korea's foreign ministry noted it was inappropriate for a high-level Japanese official to deny the recent pledges made by Abe and urged Tokyo to reaffirm its stance.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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