Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wants to publish a "forward looking statement" that is to replace a landmark 1995 apology for suffering in Asia during World War II.
Abe, who emerged the victor in the December 16 election, is known for his conservative views and is popular for his patriotic stance on Japan's wartime militarism.
In an interview with the conservative newspaper Sankei, Abe said it was time to loosen Japan's post-war pacifist constitution and change its statement into something "appropriate for the 21st century".
However, the review is likely to prove much less popular with Japan's neighbours China and North and South Korea, which suffered years of Japanese rule.
Abe's grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, was a wartime cabinet minister who escaped trial after the war.
The change is expected to come shortly after the meeting of a Japanese delegation with the newly elected South Korean President Park Geun-hye, whose initial refusal to meet with the delegation has been seen as a sign of growing tensions between the two countries.
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