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Prime Minister Attends the Memorial Service for the War Dead
The annual Government-sponsored Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead was held in the Nippon Budokan Hall in Kitanomaru Park in Tokyo.
On this 60th anniversary of the end of World War II, Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress of Japan and approximately 6,300 people including bereaved family members attended the ceremony to pray for the repose of the souls of more than three million war dead. After singing the national anthem, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi who attended this memorial service for the fifth time as the Prime Minister of Japan delivered an address in which he said, "During the war, Japan caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. I express the heartfelt feelings of mourning to all the victims, both at home and abroad, in the war. Today, on this occasion marking the 60th anniversary of the war's end, I expressed once again in my statement as Prime Minister of Japan, the feelings of deep remorse for the past war, and, based on the path we have made in the sixty years in the post-war period, my determination to contribute to world peace and prosperity without ever again waging a war. Japan will, with all its resources, further develop friendly relations with other countries and, as a country that attaches utmost importance to peace, will seek to gain further trust from the world."
As the clock struck noon, heartfelt prayers were offered to more than three million war dead for the repose of their souls.
Following the address of His Majesty The Emperor, the President of the House of Councillors, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the representatives of the bereaved family members of war dead each gave their memorial address.
After the addresses, representatives of all the sectors of society led by Prime Minister Koizumi and representatives of the bereaved family members offered flowers while commemorating the war dead.
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