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Address by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi at the 60th 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 the sectors of society, here today we hold the annual Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead.

Sixty years have passed since the last war ended. We commemorate this day amidst we enjoy the peace and prosperity. Many people died against in the war their will- in battlefields thinking about their homeland, and worrying about their families, while others perished amidst the destruction of war, or after the war in remote foreign countries. Reflecting that the peace we enjoy today is founded on their ultimate sacrifices, I hereby offer my heartfelt appreciation and sincere respect to them.

During the war, Japan caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations. I express the heartfelt feelings of mourning to all the victims, both at home and abroad, in the war.

Today, on this occasion marking the 60th anniversary of the war's end, I expressed once again in my statement as Prime Minister of Japan, the feelings of deep remorse for the past war, and, based on the path we have made in the sixty years in the post-war period, my determination to contribute to world peace and prosperity without ever again waging a war. Japan will, with all its resources, further develop friendly relations with other countries and, as a country that attaches utmost importance to peace, will seek to gain further trust from the world.

In concluding, 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 bereaved families of the war dead.

August 15, 2005

Junichiro Koizumi
Prime Minister of Japan