Letter written in response to the article "Miffed Chinese Sue Japan Companies" in New York Times on 7 August 2000
By Mr. Ryuichiro Yamazaki
Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
We regret that Craig Smith's article on 7 August entitled "Miffed Chinese Sue Japan Companies" contains some crucial factual errors.
The article claims in the first paragraph of its third column that Japan has never fully apologized to China for Japan's actions during the Second World War. The fact is that Japan has repeatedly expressed its remorse and stated its apology for wartime actions with the utmost clarity. A notable example is then Prime Minister's official statement in August 1995, based upon a Cabinet decision. In the statement, Mr. Murayama said that Japan "through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations," and he expressed his "feelings of deep remorse" and stated his "heartfelt apology." As recently as 1998, then Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi reiterated gist of this statement to Chinese President Jiang Zeming when he paid a state visit to Japan.
In addition, Mr. Smith should appreciate Japan's post-war diplomacy, including, our endeavors to build friendly and constructive relations with China. This progress is possible with Japan's sincere reflection upon its wartime actions.
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