Address by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at the Nagasaki Memorial Service for the 57th Nagasaki Peace Ceremony
August 9, 2002
Here today on the occasion of the Nagasaki Peace Ceremony marking the 57th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, I reverently pay sincere tribute to the souls of the atomic bomb victims. Furthermore, I express my heartfelt sympathy for those suffering from the after-effects of the atomic bomb.
After the war, thanks to the efforts of its citizens, the City of Nagasaki has achieved great development, and today, upholding as fundamental principles the desire for peace and respect for human rights, Nagasaki is advancing plans to develop as a city that will be a center for exchange, keeping its history alive. We can never forget that the lives lost to the horrors of the atomic bomb serve as a foundation of that development.
As the only country ever to have experienced nuclear devastation, based on its determination that the horrors brought upon Hiroshima and Nagasaki should never be repeated, Japan observes its Peace Constitution, firmly maintaining the Three Non-Nuclear Principles of not possessing nuclear weapons, not producing them, and not permitting their introduction into its territory. There will be no change to this position in the future as in the past.
At the United Nations General Assembly last autumn, Japan advocated the importance of the early entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), and proposed a draft resolution indicating a path to the total elimination of nuclear weapons, which received overwhelming support from the international community, as in previous years. The Japanese government will continue to appeal to other governments towards the early entry into force of the CTBT.
Aiming to realize at an earliest date a peaceful and safe world without nuclear weapons, 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. As such, I believe that it is indeed very significant in enhancing international understanding among the citizens that, following on from last year, representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have again gathered in Nagasaki to hold a meeting to work for the elimination of nuclear weapons.
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. From the current fiscal year, a decision has been made to provide new assistance measures for individuals who have lived abroad since being exposed to the atomic bomb. I will continue to work sincerely to promote support measures by facing the reality of the aging victims of the atomic bomb. Furthermore, I will strive to ensure that the Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims scheduled to open next fiscal year will serve as a facility to convey the disaster of the atomic bomb to the entire world and commemorate everlasting peace.
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 atomic bomb survivors and the bereaved families, and for the further prosperity of the City of Nagasaki.
Prime Minister of Japan