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Speeches and Statements by the Prime Minister

Address by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony

Friday, August 9, 2013


[Provisional Translation]

Here today, on the occasion of the Nagasaki Peace Memorial Ceremony on the 68th anniversary of the atomic bombing, I reverently express my sincere condolences to the souls of the atomic bomb victims. I also extend my heartfelt sympathy to those still suffering from the aftereffects of the atomic bomb.

Sixty-eight years ago today, a single bomb deprived more than 70,000 people of their precious lives. It completely burned down or destroyed the homes of some 120,000 people, and those who survived were forced to endure hardships of illness and disability as well as tribulations in their daily lives that are beyond words.

We who experienced the agony of atomic bombings not once but twice have, despite these ordeals, endured the suffering and the sorrow and raised ourselves to our feet once more, rebuilding our homeland and restoring Nagasaki as a beautiful city. Today is also a day on which we offer solace to the souls of the victims and extend our thanks for the strenuous efforts and achievements of our forebears.

We Japanese are the only people to have experienced the horror of nuclear devastation in war. As such a people, we bear a responsibility to bring about "a world without nuclear weapons" without fail. We have a duty to continue to convey to the next generation, and indeed to the world, the inhumanity of nuclear weapons.

Last year, the Government of Japan submitted to the United Nations General Assembly a draft resolution on nuclear disarmament through the involvement of 99 co-sponsor nations, the largest number ever, including the United States and the United Kingdom, and it was adopted by an overwhelming majority.

This year, we began a program in which members of the young generation serve as "Youth Communicators for a World without Nuclear Weapons." Next year, we will convene in Hiroshima a Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI), a forum that brings together non-nuclear weapons states, in which Japan has consistently taken a leading role.

We will exert every possible effort to enable individuals who are still now enduring pain and suffering and waiting to be recognized as having an atomic bomb disease, to receive that recognition as soon as possible. Eminent persons, representatives of atomic bomb victims, and other relevant persons have been undertaking discussions with great urgency in order to listen to the voices of atomic bomb victims and move forward with better policies to support them.

This morning, as we mourn the souls of the victims in Nagasaki, I pledge that I will redouble my efforts to carry out these duties.

I would like to conclude with my heartfelt prayers once more for the repose of the souls of the victims. I would also like to extend my best wishes to the bereaved families and to the atomic bomb survivors. I will close my address with a pledge that Japan will firmly uphold the "Three Non-Nuclear Principles" and spare no efforts in working towards the total abolition of nuclear weapons and the realization of eternal world peace, so that the horror and devastation caused by nuclear weapons are not repeated.

Shinzo Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
August 9, 2013

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