Statement by Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama on the 50th
Anniversary of the End of the War

15 August 1995

The world has seen fifty years elapse since the war came to an
end. Now, when I remember the many people both at home and
abroad who fell victim to war, my heart is overwhelmed by a
flood of emotions.

The peace and prosperity of today were built as Japan overcame
great difficulty to arise from a devastated land after defeat
in the war. That achievement is something of which we are
proud, and let me herein express my heartfelt admiration for
the wisdom and untiring effort of each and every one of our
citizens. Let me also express once again my profound gratitude
for the indispensable support and assistance extended to Japan
by the countries of the world, beginning with the United States
of America. I am also delighted that we have been able to
build the friendly relations which we enjoy today with the
neighboring countries of the Asia-Pacific region, the United
States and the countries of Europe.

Now that Japan has come to enjoy peace and abundance, we tend
to overlook the pricelessness and blessings of peace. Our task
is to convey to younger generations the horrors of war, so that
we never repeat the errors in our history. I believe that, as
we join hands, especially with the peoples of neighboring
countries, to ensure true peace in the Asia-Pacific region
indeed, in the entire world it is necessary, more than
anything else, that we foster relations with all countries
based on deep understanding and trust. Guided by this
conviction, the Government has launched the Peace, Friendship
and Exchange Initiative, which consists of two parts promoting:
support for historical research into relations in the modern
era between Japan and the neighboring countries of Asia and
elsewhere; and rapid expansion of exchanges with those
countries. Furthermore, I will continue in all sincerity to do
my utmost in efforts being made on the issues arisen from the
war, in order to further strengthen the relations of trust
between Japan and those countries. Now, upon this historic
occasion of the 50th anniversary of the war's end, we should
bear in mind that we must look into the past to learn from the
lessons of history, and ensure that we do not stray from the path
to the peace and prosperity of human
society in the future.

During a certain period in the not too distant past, Japan,
following a mistaken national policy, advanced along the road
to war, only to ensnare the Japanese people in a fateful
crisis, and, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused
tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many
countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. In the hope
that no such mistake be made in the future, I regard, in a
spirit of humility, these irrefutable facts of history, and
express here once again my feelings of deep remorse and state
my heartfelt apology. Allow me also to express my feelings of
profound mourning for all victims, both at home and abroad, of
that history.

Building from our deep remorse on this occasion of the 50th
anniversary of the end of the war, Japan must eliminate
self-righteous nationalism, promote international coordination
as a responsible member of the international community and,
thereby, advance the principles of peace and democracy. At the
same time, as the only country to have experienced the
devastation of atomic bombing, Japan, with a view to the
ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons, must actively strive
to further global disarmament in areas such as the
strengthening of the nuclear non-proliferation regime. It is
my conviction that in this way alone can Japan atone for its
past and lay to rest the spirits of those who perished.

It is said that one can rely on good faith. And so, at this
time of remembrance, I declare to the people of Japan and
abroad my intention to make good faith the foundation of our
Government policy, and this is my vow.