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

August 9, 2022
[Provisional translation]
Seventy-seven years ago today, a single atomic bomb destroyed the city of Nagasaki in a mere instant, claiming the lives, futures, and day-to-day existences of what is said to be well more than 70,000 souls. Everything was reduced to ashes and countless people perished in both the city and the rivers. Even those who somehow escaped death despite those 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 prime minister. 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, I will continue to appeal for the devastation of using nuclear weapons never to 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 the steps we take along that path, 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.
Even in the midst of a severe security environment, we must continue the history of not using nuclear weapons, keeping Nagasaki as the last place to endure the horror of their use. Ensuring transparency, achieving further nuclear arms reductions, and nuclear non-proliferation all continue to be critically important efforts.
Moreover, 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 Nagasaki, which has developed admirably as an International Culture City through the tireless efforts of its citizens, I pledge once again that Japan will make its utmost efforts for the realization of “a world free of nuclear weapons” and eternal peace. I wish to conclude my remarks with my heartfelt prayers for the repose of the souls of those who fell victim to the atomic bombing here in Nagasaki. 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 Nagasaki City.
Prime Minister of Japan
August 9, 2022

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