By WO KOU
TOKYO (China Daily Show) – Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last defended his unusual decision to pose next to a gruesome new World War II mural, while grinning broadly and flicking multiple ‘V’ signs.
The recently unveiled mural, which depicts in painstaking detail the massacre of a platoon of Chinese soldiers surrendering to a marauding troop of Japanese war criminals in Manchuria, is likely to cause offense in China.
But the right-wing leader, currently riding high in the polls, said he was the victim of a misunderstanding.
“I am of the view that visiting this mural, which enshrines the souls of those who fought in the service of their country, is just the same as popping to 7-Eleven to buy a bottle of sake,” Abe later told a journalist.
“This is really no different from what other world leaders do,” Abe said, referencing German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s undocumented pilgrimage last year to a Nazi shrine and former US President George W. Bush’s non-existent weekend retreat at a former cotton plantation in Mississippi, during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Abe said that the Japanese government had done everything it could to acknowledge previous war crimes, and the media was not reporting the full story.
“I have said before we’re, you know, sorry about some of the stuff we did,” said Abe. “How many more times do I have to say we’re, you know, sorry?”
How exactly one should define the term ‘sorry’ was another matter entirely, Abe added.