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Japan's gov't says it will honor apologies for wartime abuses, downplays vow to review history

Japan's foreign minister and chief government spokesman say Tokyo does not plan to revise past apologies to neighboring countries for atrocities committed by its Imperial Army before and during World War II.

The comments appear intended to allay criticisms of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's earlier vows to revise the apologies, including an acknowledgement of sexual slavery during the war.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters Wednesday that Japan recognizes the harm it caused. He said the Abe government would not raise the apologies as a diplomatic or political issue but would seek understanding from its neighbors.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Japan had "accepted the facts of history in a spirit of humility" and that Abe "shared that view."

The comments contradict Abe's pledges to reassess Japan's wartime past.