Address by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at the Hiroshima Memorial Service for the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony
6 August 2001
Here today on the occasion of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony marking the 56th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, I reverently pay sincere tribute to the souls of the countless atomic bomb victims. Furthermore, I express my heartfelt sympathy for those suffering from the after-effects of the atomic bomb.
Fifty-six years ago to this day, a great number of precious lives were lost in a split second when the atomic bomb was dropped, leaving Hiroshima in ruins. Today, the extraordinarily distinguished efforts of the citizens of Hiroshima are bringing about dramatic developments to Hiroshima, an International City of Peace and Culture. We will never be able to forget that precious lives lost to the horrors of the atomic bomb serve as the cornerstone of today's peace and prosperity.
As the only country ever to have experienced nuclear devastation, Japan observes its Peace Constitution and firmly maintains the Three Non-Nuclear Principles. Furthermore, Japan continues to appeal to the international community for the total elimination of nuclear weapons and the realization of a permanent peace so that the horrors of nuclear weapons may never again be repeated.
At the United Nations General Assembly in October 2000, Japan proposed a draft resolution entitled, "A Path to the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons," which was adopted with overwhelming support. The resolution contains such concrete measures towards nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation as the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). In September, the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT will be held in New York. Japan has thus far endeavored to effect the entry into force of the Treaty on various occasions and will strive to make this conference a success, using it as a further opportunity to appeal more actively to other countries. It is through such means that Japan will make its utmost efforts to lead the international community in promoting measures for nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation towards the total elimination of nuclear weapons.
Furthermore, with regard to the atomic bomb victims, I have been working to enhance comprehensive support measures spanning health care, medical treatment and welfare based on the Law to Support the Survivors of the Atomic Bomb. I will continue to work wholeheartedly to promote support measures fully taking into positive consideration the circumstances of the atomic bomb victims who are advancing in years. Moreover, I will endeavor to ensure that the National Memorial Hall in Hiroshima for the Atomic Bomb Deceased, due to open next year, serves as a facility to record the names of the precious lives lost to the horrors of the atomic bomb, commemorate everlasting peace and convey the disaster of the atomic bomb to the entire world.
At this ceremony in Hiroshima today, I hereby pledge before the souls of the atomic bomb victims to renew my resolve towards peace and to make my utmost efforts for the realization of a permanent peace so that the horrors of nuclear weapons shall never again be repeated.
I would like to conclude my address by offering my heartfelt prayer for the repose of the atomic bomb victims' souls and my best wishes for the future to the bereaved families and the atomic bomb survivors. I also pray for the good health of those in attendance and the citizens of Hiroshima City.