Address by Prime Minister Kishida at the Seventy-Eighth National Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead
In the gracious presence of Their Majesties the Emperor and Empress, and with the attendance of bereaved families of the war dead, distinguished representatives of all sectors of society, and many others, I hereby commence the annual National Memorial Ceremony for the War Dead.
More than three million of our compatriots lost their lives during the war.
Some fell on the battlefields worrying about the future of their homeland and wishing for the happiness of their families. Others perished in remote foreign countries after the war. And many fell victim to the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the air raids on numerous cities, and the ground battles in Okinawa, among others. Here, before the souls of all who lost their lives, I offer my heartfelt prayers for their repose.
We will not forget, even for a moment, that the peace and prosperity that Japan enjoys today was built atop the precious lives and the history of suffering of the war dead. I express my deepest respect and gratitude once more.
Never will we forget the large number of war dead whose remains have still not been recovered. Taking it as the responsibility of the nation, we shall continue to spare no effort to collect the remains of the war dead in an intensive manner and bring them back to their hometowns at the earliest possible time.
Since the end of the war, Japan has consistently walked the path of a peace-loving nation. Taking the lessons of history deeply into our hearts, we have made all possible efforts for world peace and prosperity.
We must never again repeat the devastation of war. We will remain committed to this resolute pledge. In this world in which conflicts have not yet ceased, under the banner of “Proactive Contribution to Peace,” Japan is determined to join forces with the international community and do its utmost to resolve the various challenges facing the world. We shall carve out the future of our nation for the sake of the present generations and the generations of the future.
I will conclude my address by once again offering my heartfelt prayers for the repose of the souls of the war dead and for the happiness of the members of their bereaved families.
Prime Minister of Japan
August 15, 2023