Video Message by Prime Minister KISHIDA Fumio at the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony
Today, on the occasion of the opening of the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony on the 78th anniversary of the atomic bombing, as prime minister, I reverently express my sincere condolences to the souls who were victims of the atomic bomb. I also extend my heartfelt sympathy to those still suffering even now from the aftereffects of the atomic bomb.
The city of Nagasaki was reduced to ashes, with not a single tree or blade of grass remaining. Yet through the efforts of its citizens, it achieved reconstruction beautifully as we see today. Mindful of this, we again feel strongly that there is no trial that cannot be overcome and feel acutely how precious peace is.
Conditions tragic beyond description occurred in Nagasaki 78 years ago today. Those conditions, and the suffering that resulted, must never be repeated.
Japan, the only country to have experienced the horror of nuclear devastation in war, will continue its tireless efforts to bring about “a world without nuclear weapons” while upholding the “Three Non-Nuclear Principles.” This is Japan's mission, which is forever unchanging.
Against the backdrop of the widening division within the international community over approaches to nuclear disarmament and Russia's nuclear threat, the road to achieving “a world without nuclear weapons” has become all the more difficult. But it is precisely because of these circumstances that Japan, holding the presidency of the G7 and non-permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council, will lead global efforts towards realizing such a world, while calling for the international community to unite in maintaining and strengthening the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
Alongside this, taking the solid outcomes of the G7 Hiroshima Summit as the foundation, and utilizing the results of the discussions of the International Group of Eminent Persons for a World without Nuclear Weapons (IGEP), we will build further momentum within the international community for progress in nuclear disarmament, working towards the realization of “a world without nuclear weapons.”
It is imperative that, as the starting point for all manner of efforts towards nuclear disarmament, we communicate the tragic realities of the atomic bombings across generations and beyond national borders. It is my hope that the many people who visit Nagasaki and Hiroshima from around the world will continue to come face to face with the tragic realities of the atomic bombings and also renew their determination to achieve peace. Towards that end, Japan will work in tandem with atomic bomb survivors in its ongoing efforts to promote understanding of the tragic realities of the atomic bombings, 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. We will work in particular to conduct screenings for recognizing atomic bomb diseases as quickly as we can.
In closing, here in Nagasaki, 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 without 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 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, 2023