Tomiichi Murayama, Former Prime Minister of Japan
Wednesday, July 29, 2015, 15:00 - 16:00
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to make a statement next month to commemorate 70 years since Japan's defeat in World War II. While he's said he plans to uphold (on the whole) statements by previous premiers on the 50th and 60th anniversaries, there is widespread concern than he will water down expressions of remorse.
Much focus is on whether Abe will retain key phrases such as colonial rule and invasion. Failure to do so risks angering countries such as China and South Korea that felt the brunt of Japan's aggression.
Tomiichi Murayama, who was prime minister when the landmark 50th-anniversary statement was released, has agreed to come to the FCCJ to discuss his views. He told the world in 1995 that Japan must "eliminate self-righteous nationalism" that triggered the war.
Born in Oita Prefecture in 1924, Murayama served as the country's first Socialist prime minister in almost half a century, from 1994 to 1996. Prior to making his statement, Murayama established the Asian Women's Fund to provide compensation to "comfort women" from countries including South Korea and Taiwan.