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Speeches and Statements by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi

(Provisional Translation)

Address by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at the Nagasaki Memorial Service for the Nagasaki Peace Ceremony

Here today, on the occasion of the Nagasaki Peace Ceremony marking the 58th 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.

As the only nation in human history to be bombed with atomic weapons, Japan has complied with its peace constitution and firmly maintained the Three Non-Nuclear Principles, with its strong commitment not to repeat the tragedy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan will continue to pursue this stance, and lead the international community to promote nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation and devote itself to abolish nuclear weapons through its enhancement of efforts to call on governments for early ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT).

In July this year the Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims opened. I sincerely hope that this Hall will serve as a facility to convey the disaster of the atomic bomb to the entire world and contribute to world peace into the future.

With regard to the atomic bomb victims, I have been working to enhance comprehensive support measures spanning health care, medical treatment and welfare. The Government of Japan has recently taken assistance measures to provide assistance for travel expenses for the atomic bomb victims living abroad to come to Japan to receive medical treatment, as well as to renew measures to ensure that those people who have been approved for allowances can continue to receive the service even after leaving Japan. I will continue to work sincerely to promote support measures by facing the reality of the aging victims of the atomic bomb.

From the midst of atomic devastation, the citizens of Nagasaki channeled all their efforts in, and overcame all difficulties to achieve great development. I would like to express my deepest respect to the countless people who poured their energies into the reconstruction of Nagasaki. The desire of the people of Nagasaki in their post-war efforts towards the achievement of world peace has been firmly planted along with the Bells of Peace in the hearts and minds of the people of the world. Nagasaki is currently progressing with the creation of a city for exchange with history, under the basic principle of the pursuit of peace and respect for human rights. Nagasaki is a city that has for many years served as a window on Western civilization and also a city imbued with an international ambience. I wish that Nagasaki would continue to convey its message of peace to the world and that many people from other countries will visit the city.

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.

August 9, 2003

Junichiro Koizumi
Prime Minister of Japan