Germany said on Monday it tried to deal "honestly" with its World War II past and urged Japan to do the same after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to a controversial war shrine.
"I do not wish to comment on questions related to Japanese domestic politics," Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesperson Steffen Seibert told reporters when asked about the surprise Yasukuni shrine visit which enraged China and South Korea.
"But in general all nations must honestly live up to their role in the horrible events of the 20th century. Only on the basis of this honest accounting is it possible to build a future with former foes. This is a conviction Germany takes to heart and which in my opinion applies to all states."