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Prime Minister Attends Nagasaki Peace Ceremony

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Photograph of Prime Minister delivering an address at Nagasaki Peace Ceremony Photograph of the Prime Minister talking with atomic bomb victims

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the annual Nagasaki Peace Ceremony held at Peace Park, Nagasaki City.

About 5,500 participants including atomic bomb victims, bereaved family members, and Prime Minister Abe attended the ceremony marking the 62nd anniversary of the atomic bombing. The list of the names of the atomic bomb victims who had been confirmed dead in the past year was placed at the site. The representatives of atomic bomb victims; bereaved family members; and students from local elementary, junior, and high schools offered water, and Mr. Tomihisa Taue, Mayor of Nagasaki City, Prime Minister Abe and other guests offered flowers.

The Bell of Nagasaki was rung at 11:02 a.m., when the atomic bomb was dropped, and the participants prayed in silence for a minute. Mayor Taue then delivered the Nagasaki Peace Declaration in which he stated, "With the appearance of new nuclear weapon states comes increased danger of actual use," "Nuclear weapon states must embark on sincere efforts to eliminate their own nuclear weapons, moving beyond mere discussion of non-proliferation." He also made a request for the Government of Japan to demonstrate strong leadership in the international community toward the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Prime Minister Abe then delivered an address, in which he referred to the enhancement of comprehensive assistance measures for atomic bomb victims, saying "The Government will continue to work sincerely to promote these measures while earnestly paying heed to compelling accounts of atomic bomb victims."

In the afternoon, Prime Minister Abe met with representatives of organizations of victims of the atomic bomb at a hotel in Nagasaki City. The Prime Minister explained to the representatives about the government's endeavors for the elimination of nuclear weapons and also referred to government policies on assistance measures for atomic bomb victims, saying, "I have just instructed the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare to review the system of recognizing atomic bomb victims, while consulting experts for their judgments."