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Japan's Emperor Says Wartime Ravages Need to Be Taught to Younger Generation

Japan's Emperor Akihito says facts about World War II and the war dead must be taught to younger generations so the past is not repeated.

Emperor Akihito's comments were released Saturday on the occasion of his seventy-third birthday.

He also said it is important to mourn the war dead, but avoided saying how people should pay their respects.

Former prime minister Junichiro Koizumi's annual visits to Tokyo's Yasukuni shrine, which honors Japan's war dead, strained Japan's ties with China and South Korea because the shrine includes convicted war criminals.

This summer, Japanese media reported that Emperor Hirohito, the current emperor's father, stopped visiting the shrine after a 1978 decision to honor convicted war criminals there.

Akihito said his father never told him his views on mourning the war dead.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.