Emperor Naruhito voices "deep remorse" over Japan's wartime past

Japan's Emperor Naruhito speaks during a news conference on the occasion of his 61st birthday on February 23, 2021, at Akasaka Palace in Tokyo, Japan, in this handout photo taken on February 19, 2021 and released by Imperial Household Agency of Japan on February 22, 2021. Picture taken February 19, 2021. Imperial Household Agency of Japan /Handout via REUTERS

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Emperor Naruhito expressed "deep remorse" over the country's wartime past on Sunday, the 76th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War Two, delivering a message largely unchanged from last year's.

"Looking back on the long period of post-war peace, 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," Naruhito said at a ceremony for war dead.

Naruhito, grandson of Emperor Hirohito in whose name Japan fought World War Two, also said he hoped that people would bring their hearts together and join forces to overcome the ordeal of coronavirus pandemic.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by David Dolan)

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