Japan's emperor expresses remorse over war

Japanese new Emperor Naruhito has expressed remorse over his country's wartime past.
Japanese new Emperor Naruhito has expressed remorse over his country's wartime past.

Japan's new emperor, Naruhito, has expressed deep remorse over the country's wartime past and prayed for global peace, echoing his father's words in remarks at an annual ceremony marking Tokyo's surrender in World War II.

Naruhito, 59, became Japan's first monarch born after the war when he inherited the throne in May.

His father, Akihito, stepped down in the first abdication by a Japanese emperor in two centuries.

"Looking back on the long period of post-war peace, reflecting on our past and bearing in mind the feelings of deep remorse, I earnestly hope that the ravages of war will never be repeated," he said.

"Together with all of our people, I pay my heartfelt tribute to all those who lost their lives in the war ... and pray for world peace and the further development of our country," Naruhito said, echoing his father's message a year ago.

Naruhito is a grandson of Emperor Hirohito, in whose name Japanese troops fought World War II.

Australian Associated Press