Address by Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony
Seventy-eight years ago today, a single atomic bomb deprived people said to number well more than 100,000 of their precious lives. It reduced the city to ashes and deprived people of their dreams and bright futures in an instant. Even those who escaped death suffered hardships that words cannot describe. 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 Hiroshima and Nagasaki caused by nuclear weapons must never be repeated. As the only country to have experienced the horror of nuclear devastation in war, Japan will press on tirelessly with its efforts to bring about “a world without nuclear weapons” while continuing to firmly uphold the “Three Non-Nuclear Principles.”
The widening division within the international community over approaches to nuclear disarmament, Russia's nuclear threat, and other concerns now make that road all the more difficult. But it is precisely because of these circumstances that it is imperative for us to reinvigorate international momentum once more towards the realization of a “world without nuclear weapons.”
The starting point for making firm progress towards the realization of a “world without nuclear weapons” is accurately understanding the tragic realities of the atomic bombings. At the G7 Hiroshima Summit this past May, world leaders listened to the voices of atomic bomb survivors and encountered firsthand the realities of the atomic bombings and the desires of people yearning for peace. We also urged not only world leaders but also young people and others to visit Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Through candid discussions among the national leaders and the issuance of the “G7 Leaders’ Hiroshima Vision on Nuclear Disarmament,” we succeeded in building momentum once more within the international community for progress in nuclear disarmament. We will continue to work actively to bring about a “world without nuclear weapons,” giving proper consideration to the discussions of the International Group of Eminent Persons for a World without Nuclear Weapons (IGEP), which has already launched its activities. We will also keep making proactive efforts to faithfully hand down to the next generation the atomic bomb survivors' desire for peace, including through the Youth Leader Fund for a World Without Nuclear Weapons program.
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, which has now developed admirably as an International City of Peace and Culture, I once again pledge that Japan will make its utmost efforts for the realization of a world without nuclear weapons and for the realization of 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 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, 2023