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Speeches and Statements by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi

(Provisional Translation)

Address by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at the 59th Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead

In the presence of Their Majesties The Emperor and Empress of Japan and with the attendance of bereaved family members of war dead and many distinguished representatives of all sectors of society, here today we hold the annual Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead.

In the last war, more than three million Japanese lost their lives on the battlefield, succumbed to the ravages of war, or passed away in some distant foreign land after the war, reminiscing of their homeland and anxious about their families. Fifty-nine years have passed since the war ended. The peace and prosperity that we currently enjoy are founded on the ultimate sacrifices made by those who lost their lives in spite of themselves and the ceaseless efforts of the people of Japan in the post-war period. I offer my heartfelt prayers for the repose of their souls, and offer my genuine respect and appreciation to them from the bottom of my heart.

During the war, Japan caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. On behalf of the people of Japan, I hereby express my profound remorse together with my sincere mourning to the victims.

Looking back on the past with humility, I will not let the lesson learned from the tragedy of war fade with time and firmly maintain the nation's antiwar pledge, dedicated to the construction of Japan as a peaceful nation. Japan will further develop its friendly relations with countries all over the world, and as a member of the international community, actively contribute to establishing lasting world peace. I will exert all my efforts so that Japan will gain further trust from the world as a country that treasures peace.

In concluding my address, I offer my heartfelt prayers for the repose of the souls of the war dead and for the continued peace and good health of the families of the war dead.

August 15, 2004

Junichiro Koizumi
Prime Minister of Japan