Emperor Akihito

What was the accusation?

In August 2015, during a memorial service marking the 70th anniversary of the conclusion of World War II, Emperor Akihito of Japan apologized for the wartime atrocities committed by his country’s military forces. He said: “On this day to commemorate the war dead and pray for peace, my thoughts are with the people who lost their precious lives in the last war and their bereaved families. Reflecting on our past and bearing in mind the feelings of deep remorse over the last war, I earnestly hope that the ravages of war will never be repeated.” Reported as an “unprecedented apology” (NPR) and an “unfamiliar addition” (The New York Times), Akihito’s words enhanced Japan’s traditional apologia on the matter while also aligning well with the country’s decades-long pattern of contrition regarding its past actions.

Key Apologia Strategies:







Japan’s apologies for World War II. (2015, August 14). The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/08/13/world/asia/japan-ww2-shinzo-abe.html

Neuman, S. (2015, August 15). Japan’s emperor expresses ‘deep remorse’ for war past. NPR. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/08/15/432359132/japans-emperor-expresses-deep-remorse-for-war-past

Soble, J. (2015, August 15). Emperor Akihito expresses ‘deep remorse’ for Japan’s role in World War II. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/world/asia/emperor-akihito-expresses-deep-remorse-for-japans-role-in-world-war-ii.html