Here today, on the occasion of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony, I reverently pay sincere tribute to the souls of the atomic bomb victims. Furthermore, I express my heartfelt sympathy for those suffering from the aftereffects of the atomic bomb.
Hiroshima has rebuilt itself from the ashes of war and achieved remarkable development as an international city of peace and culture. I would like to express my deepest respect to the countless people who have consistently devoted their energies to the reconstruction and development of Hiroshima down to the present time.
On this day 62 years ago, an atomic bomb was dropped onto this land, depriving more than 100,000 people of their precious lives across vast areas of Hiroshima in an instant and causing pain and suffering to scores of others, many of who are still being agonized by unbearable and persistent disorders caused by the bombing.
Seventy-thousand buildings were destroyed and much of the citizens' property was returned to ashes, as this city of Hiroshima was reduced to ruins.
Throughout its 62 years since the end of the Second World War, Japan has earnestly trod a path of international peace. The tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should never be repeated anywhere else on this earth. As the only country ever to have experienced nuclear devastation, Japan has a responsibility to convey its grievous experience to the international community.
In front of the souls of the deceased atomic bomb victims and the citizens of Hiroshima, I have further strengthened my commitment not to repeat the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I renew my pledge to observe the stipulations in the Constitution, sincerely seek international peace and firmly maintain the Three Non-Nuclear Principles.
I will make my best effort for the total elimination of nuclear weapons and the realization of a permanent peace, leading the international community through such means as submitting draft resolutions on nuclear disarmament to the United Nations General Assembly.
The Government of Japan has developed comprehensive support measures covering health, medical care, and welfare to assist the victims of the atomic bombs. In April this year, the Government opened "Yano Orizuru En," a special nursing home for atomic bomb victims. The Government will continue to work sincerely to promote these measures while earnestly paying heed to compelling accounts of atomic bomb victims.
I would like to conclude my address by offering my heartfelt prayer for the repose of the atomic bomb victims' souls and my best wishes for the future to the atomic bomb survivors and the bereaved families, and for the further prosperity of the City of Hiroshima.
August 6, 2007
Prime Minister of Japan