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Japanese envoy apologies for atrocities to Philippines during WWII

(Xinhua)

08:37, April 10, 2012

MANILA, April 9 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Toshinao Urabe expressed on Monday apologies for the atrocities committed by the then Japanese soldiers during the World War II.

"Seventy years have passed since those cruel days. I wish to pay my greatest tribute to those who endured hardship and pain. I solemny pray for those souls who paid the ultimate sacrifice. I also hereby express our heartfelt apologies and deep sense of remorse for the tragedy," he said during the Day of Valor rites held in Mt. Samat Shrine in Pilar, Bataan province.

He said that the Japanese people now are far cry from the Japanese in those days.

He said that despite all the sufferings during the war, the Filipinos now are the "most friendly people."

Urabe also said that the United States, which fought hand in hand with the Filipino soldiers against the Japanese Imperial Army several decades ago, is now Japan's closest ally.

On April 9, 1942, about 76,000 American and Filipino defenders on Bataan surrendered to the Japanese and they were forced to endure the so-called Bataan Death March wherein about 10,000 of them died or were murdered.

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