Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday expressed "profound grief" over the loss of life in World War II, but said that future generations should not be "predestined" to apologise for Tokyo's wartime record.
"Japan has repeatedly expressed feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology for its actions during the war," he said in a closely watched speech just ahead of the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII.
"We must not let our children, grandchildren and even further generations to come, who have nothing to do with that war, be predestined to apologise" for it."
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