Hata says sorry

Japan's new Prime Minister, Tsutomu Hata, yesterday apologised for the claim by one of his ministers that Japan's wartime invasion of Asia was justified and that the 'Rape of Nanking', in which at least 150,000 Chinese were massacred, never took place, Terry McCarthy writes from Tokyo.

Mr Hata said the remarks by the former Minister of Justice, Shigeto Nagano, were 'truly regrettable'. Japan, he said, should remember its past actions 'left great scars which remain even today in the hearts of the peoples of neighbouring countries'.