Skip to main content

Abstract

The Murayama Statement of 1995 was the pinnacle of Japan’s apology for its wrongdoing before and during World War II. The position it put forward has been inherited by all subsequent Japanese cabinets. This chapter analyzes the holistic and unconditional character of the Murayama Statement, in which Japan as a nation was held responsible for its past colonial rule and aggression. It then clarifies this position by comparing the statement with West German president Richard von Weizsäcker’s 1985 speech on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the end of World War II. It subsequently deepens the analysis by looking at the work of Karl Jaspers and Daisetsu Suzuki in relation to the statements by von Weizsäcker and Tomiichi Murayama, respectively. Finally, the severe criticism of the statement by elite diplomat Ryohei Murata and others on the right, as well as by left liberals, is explained. The chapter concludes with concrete policy suggestions for strengthening Japan’s position on reconciliation with Asian and other countries.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Chapter
USD 29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
eBook
USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Available as EPUB and PDF
  • Read on any device
  • Instant download
  • Own it forever
Hardcover Book
USD 70.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Purchases are for personal use only

Institutional subscriptions

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Notes

  1. “Statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama ‘On the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the War’s End’ (15 August 1995),” Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, accessed October 23, 2011, http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/press/pm/murayama/9508.html.

  2. “Prime Minister’s Address to the Diet,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, accessed October 23, 2011, http://www.mofa.go.jp/announce/press/pm/murayama/address9506.html.

  3. “Statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama” (see note 1).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Mori expressed his view on October 26, 2011, and Fujino on November 18, 2011, both in public conferences.

    Google Scholar 

  5. The discussion took place on November 18, 2011.

    Google Scholar 

References

  • Jaspers, Karl. 1984. “Commentary to the 1962 Edition.” In The Question of German Guilt, edited by Karl Jaspers, translated into Japanese by Fumio Hashimoto. Tokyo: Heibonsha Library.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jaspers, Karl. 2000. The Question of German Guilt. Translated by E. B. Ashton. New York: Fordham University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kawai, Masahiro. 2009. “Seidokuno Kokkariseitoshiteno Kakono Kokufuku” [Overcoming the past as West Germany’s state reason]. Sandai Hogaku 42: 499–526.

    Google Scholar 

  • Lind, Jennifer. 2008. Sorry States: Apologies in International Politics. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Murata, Ryohei. 2008. Kaisoroku [Memoir]. Vol. 2. Kyoto: Minerva Shobo.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nihon Senbotsu Gakusei Kinenkai [Commemoratory Council of Japanese Deceased Student-Soldiers] 1995. Kike Wadatsumino Koe. Tokyo: Iwanami Bunko.

    Google Scholar 

  • Suzuki, Daisetsu. 1968. “Resiseiteki Nihonno Kensetsu” [The construction of spiritual Japan]. In Suzuki Daisetsu Complete Works, Vol. 9, 1–258. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten.

    Google Scholar 

  • Suzuki, Daisetsu. 2010. Nihonteki Resisei [Japanese spiritualism]. Tokyo: Kadokawa Sophia Bunko.

    Google Scholar 

  • Togo, Kazuhiko. 2007. “Sengo Hsohso Hanketsu: Wakaiheno Shinkyokumenga Otozureta” [Post-war reparation judgment: new opportunity for reconciliation has arrived]. Asahi Shimbun, May 17.

    Google Scholar 

  • Togo, Kazuhiko. 2011. “Development of Japan’s Historical Memory: The San Francisco Peace Treaty and the Murayama Statement in Future Perspective.” Asian Perspective 35: 337–60.

    Google Scholar 

  • von Weizsäcker, Richard. 1987. “The 8th of May 1945—Forty Years After.” In A Voice from Germany: Speeches by Richard von Weizsäcker, translated by Karin von Abrams. New York: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.

    Google Scholar 

  • Yamazaki, Jane. 2006. Japanese Apologies for World War II: A Rhetorical Study. London: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Authors

Editor information

Kazuhiko Togo

Copyright information

© 2013 Kazuhiko Togo

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Togo, K. (2013). The Historical Role and Future Implications of the Murayama Statement: A View from Japan. In: Togo, K. (eds) Japan and Reconciliation in Post-war Asia: The Murayama Statement and Its Implications. Palgrave Pivot, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137301239_1

Download citation

Publish with us

Policies and ethics