Don't see what's so special about this apology, it's no different from the long list of apologies made by various prime ministers etc. which, while sometimes extending the apology to the entire government of Japan seems to be mostly understood as just a single guy expressing regret and doesn't seem to be enough to satisfy the need for an apology, held by most Koreans and Chinese. Whether that's because those apologies were not strong enough, or used to many weasel words or whatever or if it's because Korea and China will never accept any apology as being sincere, I do not presume to know. If it is the latter, I do not really blame them, considering the horrors unleashed upon their countries in the past by Japan, but I do question the international "Japan has never apologized" opinion, which most people seem to hold.
That is not to say that all international criticism of Japan's way of dealing with past war crimes is void. I myself have been to Yasukuni Shrine and seen the museum in there. The white-washing of the war done in that museum is disturbing. Though one needs to realize that this is a privately run shrine and not an expression of any official Japanese position and I have indeed spoken with quite a few Japanese people who really dislikes the Yasukuni Shrine for exactly this reason; it whitewashes the hell out of the war. Most Japanese people I've spoken to are indeed aware that Japan did really bad stuff in the war, but they really do not like talking about it. Which is a problem, but at least it's better than outright denying that it happened.
edited 9th Dec '11 12:38:25 AM by Mathias