Address by Prime Minister Naoto Kan
In the gracious presence of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress and with the attendance of bereaved family members of the war dead and many distinguished representatives of all sectors of society, on behalf of the Government of Japan I would like to give an address here today as we commence the annual Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead.
Sixty-five years have passed since the end of the war. When I think with regret of the more than three million people who, thinking of their homeland and concerned about their families, reluctantly fell on the battlefields, suffered the ravages of war, or lost their lives during the aftermath of the war in remote foreign countries, I am filled with unending feelings of anguish. I sincerely pray once more that they rest in peace.
I also express my deep respect for the burdens of the bereaved family members who, having lost beloved blood relatives and beset with a sorrow that is never assuaged, have overcome many hardships.
During the last war, Japan caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. I hereby express my feelings of profound remorse and sincere mourning for the victims of the war and their bereaved family members.
Since the end of the war, Japanese people have each made efforts and, supported by friendly relations between Japan and other countries and regions, have been committed to a path as a peaceful nation, even while overcoming numerous difficulties. We must continue to sincerely look back on the past and hand down the lessons of that horrible war.
Today armed conflicts remain rife around the world. At this memorial ceremony today, Japan renews its pledge not to engage in war and vows once more to spare no effort for the establishment of eternal world peace so that the horrors of war are not repeated.
I would like to conclude my address by offering my heartfelt prayers for the repose of the souls of the war dead and for the continued good health of the bereaved families of the war dead.
15 August 2010
Prime Minister of Japan