Here today, on the occasion of the Nagasaki Peace Ceremony to commemorate the 62nd anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city, I reverently pay my 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.
Nagasaki has rebuilt itself from the ashes of war and achieved remarkable development as a tourist city where the legacy of history lives on. I would like to express my heartfelt respect to the countless people who have consistently devoted their energies to the reconstruction and development of Nagasaki down to the present time.
On this day 62 years ago, an atomic bomb was dropped onto this land, subjecting the people of Nagasaki to suffering beyond description. As many as 70,000 precious lives were snatched away in an instant and those who survived were left scarred for life.
Throughout its 62 years since the end of the Second World War, Japan has earnestly trod a path of international peace. The tragedy of Nagasaki and Hiroshima 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 Nagasaki, I have further strengthened my commitment not to repeat the tragedy of Nagasaki and Hiroshima. 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. The Government will continue to work sincerely to promote these measures while earnestly paying heed to compelling accounts of atomic bomb victims.
This past April 18, Mr. Iccho Ito, the former Mayor of Nagasaki City, was struck down by gunshot. I would like to express my profound respect for his longstanding contribution to the efforts toward the total elimination of nuclear weapons and building of a world peace. With all my heart, I would like to pray for the peace of his soul.
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 Nagasaki.
August 9, 2007
Prime Minister of Japan