Address by Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony

August 6, 2022
[Provisional translation]

Today, Hiroshima marks 77 years since the morning an atomic bomb was dropped. As the midsummer sun blazed down that hot morning, a single atomic bomb destroyed the city of Hiroshima in a mere instant, claiming the lives, futures, and day-to-day existences of what is said to be well more than 100,000 souls. A large number of people perished in the rivers while others wandered around the city searching for water. Even those who somehow escaped death despite such miserable conditions suffered long-term health problems. As prime minister, I reverently express my sincere condolences to the souls who were victims of the atomic bomb here. I also extend my heartfelt sympathy to those still suffering even now from the aftereffects of the atomic bomb.

The tragedies of that day 77 years ago must never be repeated. This is the responsibility borne by Japan as the only country to have experienced the horror of nuclear devastation in war, and it is my pledge as a prime minister with his roots in Hiroshima, where an atomic bombing took place. Threats to use nuclear weapons have been made and even the use of nuclear weapons has become evident as a real issue; meanwhile, momentum towards a world without nuclear weapons is said to be suffering a setback at present. And therefore, now more than ever, from here in Hiroshima, I wish to appeal to the people of the world in the loudest voice I can muster that the devastation of using nuclear weapons must never be repeated.

Japan will walk decisively forward on the path towards a world without nuclear weapons, no matter how narrow, steep, or difficult that path may be. Towards that end, while firmly upholding the Three Non-Nuclear Principles, we will endeavor to connect the reality of a harsh security environment with the ideal of a world without nuclear weapons.

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) serves as the foundation for those efforts, and the NPT Review Conference is taking place in New York at this very moment. I participated in that conference the other day as the first Japanese prime minister to do so. There, I urged the international community to unite in maintaining and strengthening the NPT regime, which has supported global peace and security over more than half a century.

Next year we will hold the G7 Summit here in Hiroshima. I intend for us to demonstrate to the world our pledge for humankind never to repeat the devastation of using nuclear weapons, and I want to confirm, together with the other G7 leaders in front of the Peace Memorial, that we will unite to safeguard peace and the international order and uphold the universal values of freedom, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

What supports determined steps towards realizing a world without nuclear weapons are efforts to communicate the devastation of using nuclear weapons and to pass down memories to future generations regardless of borders. Japan will work in tandem with the many who wish for a world without nuclear weapons, including atomic bomb survivors, in its ongoing efforts to promote understanding of the tragic realities of the atomic bombings.

The Government, accepting the necessity of relief measures covering health and medical services and welfare of atomic bomb survivors, will continue to advance relief measures in a comprehensive manner while staying in tune with atomic bomb survivors, who are advancing in years, including by conducting screenings for recognizing atomic bomb diseases as quickly as possible.

In closing, here in Hiroshima, where prayers for eternal peace are offered continuously, I pledge once again that Japan will make its utmost efforts for the realization of a world free of nuclear weapons and for the realization of eternal peace. I wish to conclude with my heartfelt prayers for the repose of the souls of those who fell victim to the atomic bombing here in Hiroshima. I also pray sincerely for the inner peace of the bereaved families and the atomic bomb survivors as well as all the participants today and the people of Hiroshima City.

Prime Minister of Japan
August 6, 2022

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