Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's statement on his country's actions in World War II drew varied reaction around the world, with criticism from China and South Korea's ruling party and praise from the United States, among others.
"The wars of aggression launched by Japanese militarism inflicted untold sufferings on the people of China and other victim countries in Asia. ... Today, as the international community marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Second World War, Japan should have made an explicit statement on the nature of the war of militarism and aggression and its responsibility on the wars, made (a) sincere apology to the people of victim countries, and made a clean break with the past of militarist aggression, rather than being evasive on this major issue of principle."
— Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying.
"We welcome Prime Minister Abe's expression of deep remorse for the suffering caused by Japan during the World War II era, as well as his commitment to uphold past Japanese government statements on history. ... For 70 years Japan has demonstrated an abiding commitment to peace, democracy, and the rule of law. This record stands as a model for nations everywhere."
— U.S. National Security Council spokesman Ned Price.
"Prime Minister Abe's statement marking the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II left a lot to be desired. History can't be hidden and it remains alive through the testimonies of survivors who are still with us today. Nevertheless, we find it notable that (he expressed) to the international society that the historical views expressed by past governments ... will be firmly maintained. ... Going forward, the Japanese government should be able to back its word that it inherits the historical views of past governments with consistent and sincere action, which will help it earn the trust of neighbors and the international society. Particularly, we urge the Japanese government to quickly and properly solve the issues related to the 'comfort women' who were forced to serve the Japanese military."
— South Korean President Park Geun-hye
"Prime Minister Abe's statement recognizes the suffering by Australia and other countries during World War II. Australia has not forgotten this sacrifice and suffering. Those horrors teach us that the countries of our region all advance together, or none of us will advance at all. ... Prime Minister Abe's apology builds on previous statements by the Japanese government. His words should make it easier for other countries to accept Japan's commitment to a better future for all, and to strengthen their own friendships with Japan.
— Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott