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Prime Minister Attends Nagasaki Peace Ceremony
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi attended the annual Nagasaki Peace Ceremony held in front of the Peace Statue in Peace Park, Matsuyama-machi, Nagasaki City.
About 5,000 participants including atomic bomb victims, bereaved family members, and Prime Minister Koizumi attended the ceremony marking the 61st anniversary of the atomic bombing. The list of the names of the people recognized as atomic bomb victims in the past year was placed in the sacred box in front of the Peace Statue. The representatives of atomic bomb victims; bereaved family members; and students from local elementary, junior, and high schools offered water, and Prime Minister Koizumi and other guests offered flowers.
The Bell of Nagasaki was rung at 11:02 a.m., when the atomic bomb was dropped, and the participants prayed in silence for a minute. Mr. Iccho Itoh, the Mayor of Nagasaki City, then delivered the Nagasaki Peace Declaration in which he stated, "The total elimination of nuclear weapons is a challenge which mankind definitely must attain." He further requested for the Government of Japan to legislate the Three Non-Nuclear Principles, to work to make Northeast Asia a nuclear-weapon-free zone, and to enhance support measures for aging atomic bomb victims.
Following this, Ms. Kikuyo Nakamura, the representative of the atomic bomb victims, read the Pledge for Peace in which she declared, "I sincerely hope the world will become a peaceful place during our lifetime. I pledge to continue making the utmost efforts possible toward that end."
Prime Minister Koizumi said in his address that, "I renew my pledge that Japan will continue to lead the international community for the total elimination of nuclear weapons and the realization of a permanent peace, observing the peace clause in its Constitution and firmly maintaining the Three Non-Nuclear Principles."
Related Link: Address by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at the Nagasaki Peace Ceremony
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