May 8, 2013

Regarding Japanese Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae’s April 30 letter [“A government faces its history head-on with humility and, some hope, a broader view”] in response to the April 27 editorial “An inability to face history”:

Mr. Sasae would not be able to write his letter if Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe were to revise the Murayama Statement on the Pacific War. The ambassador’s letter hewed closely to the language used in the statement.

As a cabinet-approved apology, the 1995 Murayama Statement is the only official apology by the Japanese state. Three other cabinet-approved apologies exist. Each, however, simply replicates the Murayama Statement, changing only the name of the victim group.

By recycling the carefully selected phrases of a long-postponed government apology, the Japanese ambassador’s letter supports The Post’s despair at those in power in Japan who adamantly refuse to face the country’s history and responsibilities.

Mindy Kotler, Washington

The writer is director of Asia Policy Point.