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Japan Emperor Naruhito expresses 'deep remorse' over country's wartime past

FILE PHOTO: Japan's Emperor Naruhito speaks during a news conference on the occasion of his birthday in Tokyo, Japan February 21, 2020. Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Emperor Naruhito expressed “deep remorse” over the country’s wartime past and prayed for world peace on Saturday, the 75th anniversary of Japan’s surrender in World War Two.

“I earnestly hope that the ravages of war will never again be repeated,” Naruhito, 60, said at a ceremony for war dead. Naruhito, the grandson of Emperor Hirohito in whose name Imperial troops fought the war, is Japan’s first monarch born after the war. He ascended the throne last year after his father, Akihito, abdicated.

Naruhito, who together with Empress Masako has been largely absent from public view since Japan’s coronavirus outbreak worsened earlier this year, also expressed hope the country could come together to overcome the pandemic.

Reporting by Linda Sieg and Mari Saito; Editing by Shri Navaratnam