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Emperor stresses history's value

November 12, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Japan's Emperor Akihito, marking the 20th anniversary of his coronation, says he is concerned that young people are forgetting their history.

Akihito said Japan must not forget its past -- and especially the turbulent years his father, the late Emperor Hirohito, was on the throne -- if it is to learn from its mistakes.

The 75-year-old monarch said at a brief news conference that it was regrettable Hirohito would be remembered by history for World War II and Japan's military advances into Asia prior to its defeat in 1945.

"The reign of my father began at a very difficult time," he said, noting that Japan invaded Manchuria six years after Hirohito ascended the Chrysanthemum Throne. "He viscerally knew the importance of peace."

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