World

Former political leaders behind key Japanese WWII apologies urge Abe not to backpedal

  • Japan's former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, right, speaks as former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono listens during a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, Tuesday, June 9, 2015. The two former Japanese political leaders known for their key apologies over Japan’s World War II aggression said Tuesday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should not water down their words. Murayama, who authored Japan’s landmark 1995 apology marking the 50th anniversary of the war’s end, demanded that Abe “honestly spell out” the country’s wartime actions to address growing international concern that he may revise history. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    Japan's former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, right, speaks as former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono listens during a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, Tuesday, June 9, 2015. The two former Japanese political leaders known for their key apologies over Japan’s World War II aggression said Tuesday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should not water down their words. Murayama, who authored Japan’s landmark 1995 apology marking the 50th anniversary of the war’s end, demanded that Abe “honestly spell out” the country’s wartime actions to address growing international concern that he may revise history. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Japan's former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, right, speaks as former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono listens during a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, Tuesday, June 9, 2015. The two former Japanese political leaders known for their key apologies over Japan’s World War II aggression said Tuesday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should not water down their words. Murayama, who authored Japan’s landmark 1995 apology marking the 50th anniversary of the war’s end, demanded that Abe “honestly spell out” the country’s wartime actions to address growing international concern that he may revise history. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    Japan's former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, right, speaks as former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono listens during a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, Tuesday, June 9, 2015. The two former Japanese political leaders known for their key apologies over Japan’s World War II aggression said Tuesday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should not water down their words. Murayama, who authored Japan’s landmark 1995 apology marking the 50th anniversary of the war’s end, demanded that Abe “honestly spell out” the country’s wartime actions to address growing international concern that he may revise history. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

  • Japan's former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono, left, speaks as former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama listens during a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, Tuesday, June 9, 2015. The two former Japanese political leaders known for their key apologies over Japan’s World War II aggression said Tuesday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should not water down their words. Kono, who as chief Cabinet secretary in 1993 apologized to victims of Japan’s wartime military sexual exploitation, said he wondered whether a new Abe statement is even necessary to mark the 70th anniversary of the war’s end. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

    Japan's former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono, left, speaks as former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama listens during a press conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, Tuesday, June 9, 2015. The two former Japanese political leaders known for their key apologies over Japan’s World War II aggression said Tuesday that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should not water down their words. Kono, who as chief Cabinet secretary in 1993 apologized to victims of Japan’s wartime military sexual exploitation, said he wondered whether a new Abe statement is even necessary to mark the 70th anniversary of the war’s end. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)  (The Associated Press)

Two former Japanese political leaders known for their apologies over Japan's World War II aggression say Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should not water down their words.

Former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, who authored Japan's landmark 1995 apology marking the 50th anniversary of the war's end, demanded Tuesday that Abe "honestly spell out" the country's wartime actions to address growing international concern that he may revise history.

Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono, who in 1993 apologized to victims of Japan's wartime military sexual exploitation, said he wondered whether a new Abe statement is even necessary to mark the 70th anniversary of the war's end.

Abe has said he's preparing a statement to mark the anniversary, but has given mixed signals as to how closely it will mirror Murayama's apology.