It was a carefully constructed statement, delivered on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Japan's surrender to end of the Second World War.
Speaking on Friday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe acknowledged the "damage and suffering" inflicted on innocent people.
But while Abe said Japan's previous "heartfelt apologies" will remain unshakeable in the future, he did not offer any new apology which many victims of the war have demanded.
Abe also made clear that future generations of Japanese should not be forced to say "sorry" for the country's imperial past.
Should Abe be offering a new apology for wartime atrocities?
And what would that mean for Japan's relationship with its Asian neighbours?
Presenter: Shiulie Ghosh
Yoshiki Mine: Research director at the Canon Institute for Global Studies.
BJ Kim: Adjunct Professor at the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.
Ashley Townshend: Research fellow at the Alliance 21 Program, a research initiative at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney.
Source: Al Jazeera