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Japan marks 77th anniversary of end of World War II

Japan on Monday marked the 77th anniversary of its surrender in World War II, struggling to help bring momentum to efforts to build a peaceful world amid Russia's nearly six-month-old invasion of Ukraine and mounting tension between the United States and China over Taiwan.
A government-sponsored ceremony to mourn the around 2.3 million military personnel and 800,000 civilians who perished in the war on the Japanese side was held in Tokyo, though in a scaled-back form for the third straight year as the country faces another wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
"Under the flag of proactive contributions to peace, we will join forces with the international community and make all-out efforts to solve the various problems the world is facing," Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in his first speech at the annual ceremony since taking office last October.
But Kishida, who leads the conservative Liberal Democratic Party, did not touch on Japan's wartime aggression in Asia, following his two immediate predecessors Yoshihide Suga and Shinzo Abe, who was shot dead by a lone gunman last month.
Emperor Naruhito, meanwhile, expressed his "deep remorse" again this year for Japan's wartime past.
"Reflecting on our past and bearing in mind the feelings of deep remorse, I earnestly hope that the ravages of war will never again be repeated," the emperor, who was born after the end of the war, said at the ceremony.
Japan marks 77th anniversary of end of World War II
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks during a memorial service marking the 77th anniversary of Japan's World War II defeat, at the Nippon Budokan hall in Tokyo on Monday. Photo: Yuichi Yamazaki/Pool via AP
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