Address by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
Here today, on the occasion of the Nagasaki Peace 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.
Nagasaki has developed into a unique tourist destination with its history of international exchanges living on and holding appeal both at home and abroad. It has also become a lively city that is a magnet for people year round. But when summer arrives, solemn quietude prevails in the city. That, I believe, is a silent expression of people's prayers for peace, of their hearts filled with deep sorrows. That summer has arrived for the 63rd time this year.
The Government of Japan has been committed to the path of international peace throughout its post-war history. Japan has held firm in its determination, as the only country to have experienced nuclear devastation, that the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should never be repeated. Following this path, we have attained prosperity.
A peaceful and stable international community is a precious asset for Japan's safety and prosperity. To protect and nurture such an asset, Japan as a Peace Fostering Nation must play a responsible role in the international community. At the recent G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, the Leaders Declaration welcomed, for the first time ever, the ongoing reductions of nuclear weapons and called on all nuclear-weapon States to undertake such reductions in a transparent manner.
Here today, on the soil of Nagasaki, I pledge once again that Japan will firmly maintain the Three Non-Nuclear Principles and lead the international community toward the total elimination of nuclear weapons and the realization of a permanent peace.
For those suffering from the consequences of radiation exposure, the Government will implement comprehensive support measures covering health, medical care, and welfare. Furthermore, beginning this fiscal year, the Government has decided to pursue a new policy for the recognition of atomic bomb diseases, in order to officially recognize as many people as possible. The Government will, furthermore, make it easier for the survivors living overseas to obtain the Atomic Bomb Survivor's Certificate. I will continue to work hard to support as many of the sufferers as possible.
I would like to conclude my address by offering my heartfelt prayers 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, 2008
Prime Minister of Japan