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Abe must weigh his May visit to Moscow on a historical basis

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Moscow will host a ceremony on May 9 to mark the 75th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is eager to attend.

But Abe must weigh his attendance with the utmost care. Should he decide to attend for any half-baked reason, he will send the wrong message both at home and abroad.

In 2005, then-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi attended the 60th anniversary ceremony, as did other world leaders including U.S. President George W. Bush, French President Jacques Chirac and U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

They were there to show their shared respect of the historical significance of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany in World War II.

But all Group of Seven leaders, including Abe, sat out the 70th anniversary ceremony in 2015 in protest against Russia’s arbitrary annexation of the Crimean Peninsula........

© The Asahi Shimbun