Japan makes contradictory comments on history ahead of trilateral summitUpdated: 2014-03-24 22:05:04 (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."
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.
Abe's visit to one of the best-known memorials to the victims of the holocaust is being seen as a diplomatic move ahead of his first official meeting with his South Korean counterpart.
President Park Geun-hye has been refusing to meet Abe, until just days ago, when he vowed to uphold Japan's landmark apology issued in 1993 to the victims of its wartime sexual enslavement during the Second World War.
South Korea, Japan and the United States will meet for a trilateral summit on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit, which Tokyo hopes will serve as an occasion to thaw relations with Seoul.
"Since it will be my first official meeting with President Park, I hope it will be our first step towards building a future-oriented bilateral relations."
But a comment made by Abe's special advisor, Koichi Hagiuda, is once again raising eyebrows about Japan's sincerity.
Referring to a recent row between Japan and Korea over a reported plan to revise the 1993 apology, Haguida stressed Abe did not deny the possibility of issuing a new statement over the matter.
He said 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 apology was prepared.
South Korea's foreign ministry said 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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