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Former Japan Leaders Known for WWII Apologies Want Abe to Repeat

FILE - Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to the media.

Two former Japanese political leaders known for their apologies over Japan's World War II aggression say Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should not water down their words.

Former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, who authored Japan's landmark 1995 apology marking the 50th anniversary of the war's end, demanded Tuesday that Abe “honestly spell out” the country's wartime actions to address growing international concern that he may revise history.

Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono, who in 1993 apologized to victims of Japan's wartime military sexual exploitation, said he wondered whether a new Abe statement is even necessary to mark the 70th anniversary of the war's end.

Abe has said he's preparing a statement to mark the anniversary, but has given mixed signals as to how closely it will mirror Murayama's apology.